South Africa opt to bat v Zimbabwe
South Africa’s white-ball experimentation continued as they picked two debutants for the first of three T20Is against Zimbabwe. Gihahn Cloete will be the first of the two to take the field, when he opens the batting, as South Africa opted to bat first at the Buffalo Park in East London. Rassie van der Dussen will also slot into a top order that has a more experienced feel to it, with Quinton de Kock and David Miller returning to international action.
The grass on the Buffalo Park pitch has been mowed down to the nub, and the track is expected to play a little slow and take a bit of turn. As a result, the hosts went into the game with both Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi, while Junior Dala returned to South Africa’s fast bowling stable alongside Lungi Ngidi.
Zimbabwe also opted to play two spinners, with T20 specialist Tendai Chisoro joining an XI that already had 21-year old legspinner Brandon Mavuta, playing in his second T20I. Rather more experienced is seamer Chris Mpofu, who replaced Tendai Chatara, while the adventurous young batsman Tarisai Musakanda slotted into the middle order.
Zimbabwe will be hoping that Musakanda’s introduction can invigorate a batting unit that subsided limply in the first two ODIs and was unable to last the full fifty overs in any of the first three games of the tour. He’s certainly got some form on his side: Musakanda was part of the Zimbabwean XI that took part in the recent Africa T20, and was dismissed just once across four innings, scoring his runs at a strike of 127.27.
South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Gihahn Cloete, 3 Faf du Plessis (capt), 4 Rassie van der Dussen, 5 David Miller, 6 Christiaan Jonker, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Junior Dala, 9 Imran Tahir, 10 Lungi Ngidi, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi
Zimbabwe: 1 Chamu Chibhabha, 2 Hamilton Masakadza (capt), 3 Brendan Taylor, 4 Tarisai Musakanda, 5 Sean Williams, 6 Peter Moor, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Brandon Mavuta, 9 Kyle Jarvis, 10 Tendai Chisoro, 11 Chris Mpofu