x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Kallis headlines 'classy bowling line-up' to close out Zimbabwe

Figures of 4-15 is the best performance by a South African in the Twenty20 format but the man of the match awardee remains modest.

Jacques Kallis said all he wanted to do was keep up the pressure.
Jacques Kallis said all he wanted to do was keep up the pressure.

Jacques Kallis produced the best bowling performance by a South African in the 20-over format with four for 15 as the Proteas hammered Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the World Twenty20 last night.

The latest defeat eliminated Zimbabwe from the tournament, after they lost theirs first match in Group C by 82 runs against Sri Lanka.

Kallis led the seam attack as Zimbabwe was restricted to 93 for eight and the South Africa openers Richard Levi (50) and Hashim Amla (32) eased to 94-0 in only 12.4 overs at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.

Kallis, the man of the match, was modest about his performance.

"My job was made easier by the early wickets, I just came on and kept the pressure," he said.

"There was a little bit of carry in the wicket which surprised us a little bit."

South Africa will meet Sri Lanka in the last Group C match on Saturday with both teams already qualified for the Super Eights while Zimbabwe will make their way home.

"It's the end of the road," Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwe captain, said.

"They showed how classy a bowling line-up they are. We are a team that are going to bounce back sharply, we've improved a lot over the last 24 months."

Levis and Amla were untroubled by the Zimbabwean bowlers. Levi hit six fours off 43 balls while Amla rotated the strike well, facing 33 balls and hitting three boundaries.

Amla got lucky, though, when South Africa needed only six runs for the victory. Visu Sibanda dropped a sitter at point off the medium fast bowler Kyle Jarvis, summing up a woeful day for the Zimbabweans.

Earlier, Kallis got rid of Stuart Matsikenyeri (11) and Elton Chigumbura (0) with successive deliveries and returned to have Graeme Cremer and top-scorer Craig Ervine (37) caught behind by AB de Villiers, the South Africa captain and wicketkeeper.

Ervine hit four of the six boundaries in Zimbabwe innings as all South African seamers got appreciable bounce and pace.

The Morkel brothers, Morne and Albie, caused the early damage after South Africa won the toss and opted to field first. The pair reduced Zimbabwe to 16 for three before Kallis bowled a double-wicket maiden over.

Only Ervine put up any resistance and shared a 35-run, fourth-wicket stand with Matsikenyeri before Kallis broke through with his twin strikes.

Morne clean bowled Visu Sibanda off his fourth delivery and then had Taylor caught behind in the next over - one of the four catches for De Villiers.

Zimbabwe were 51 for three midway through the innings before Kallis inflicted further suffering - taking two more wickets without the African side adding to their total.

Dale Steyn was also rewarded for his pace bowling (one for nine) when he had Prosper Utseya caught behind in his last over.

It was Zimbabwe's second lowest ever score in Twenty20s - surpassing their total of 84 against New Zealand at Guyana at the 2010 World Twenty20.

De Villiers, meanwhile, was pleased with his team's performance.

"Very happy with the start," he said. "I back our pace bowlers to do well on this kind of deck. Hopefully it's the same for the next game. We are definitely prepared for whatever the conditions may be. We've improved a lot facing spin in these conditions, so can't wait to take on what's coming our way."

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