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Sunday, September 30, 2001

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South Africa well placed

HARARE, SEPT. 29. Zimbabwe gave an improved bowling performance but was let down by its catching on Saturday as South Africa scored 272 for seven in the second one-day International.

Herschelle Gibbs and Jonty Rhodes, with 69 and 56, respectively, were the top scorers for the visitor, who won the first of the three limited overs Internationals by 153 runs last Sunday.

Gibbs lifted the last ball of the first over, bowled by fast bowler Travis Friend, over the fine leg ropes for six and it seemed Zimbabwe was in for a similar mauling as in Bulawayo, where South Africa totalled 363 for three.

However, in the fifth over Friend produced a delivery that seamed across Gary Kirsten (10), who sent a looping catch off the shoulder of the bat back to the bowler.

Jacques Kallis should have been dismissed for 14 in the ninth over when he sent a delivery from medium-pacer Mluleki Nkala arching to third man, where Hamilton Masakadza dropped the catch as he ran forward.

Eight overs later, Kallis dragged a ball from leg- spinner Paul Strang on to his stumps to be bowled for 26 ending a second wicket stand of 65 with Gibbs.

Neil McKenzie, on 13 with the total 123 for two, drove a delivery from Guy Whittall straight back to the medium pacer in the 24th over. Whittall managed to get his right hand to the ball but failed to hold the catch.

Gibbs went for 69 off 77 balls with nine fours and a six when he was brilliantly caught by Whittall diving to his right at short midwicket off Strang in the 27th over.

Five overs later, Zimbabwe dropped its third catch of the innings. Alistair Campbell, fielding on the long-on boundary, scooped a chance offered by Rhodes, who was 17 with the total 158 for three, over the ropes for six. Whittall was the aggrieved bowler.

McKenzie was out for 40 in the 39th over when he pulled a ball from left-arm spinner Grant Flower down Nkala's throat at midwicket.

The dismissal ended a fourth-wicket partnership of 79, and four overs later it was 225 for five when Rhodes top-edged a pull shot off Flower to Strang at short fine leg to be dismissed for a brisk 56 scored off 45 balls with six fours and two sixes.

Whittall ended Shaun Pollock's innings on 15 in the 48th over when the South African captain heaved a delivery to Flower at fine leg.

Lance Klusener smashed the last ball of the innings, bowled by Whittall, to Campbell at long-off to be caught for 34.

Despite its poor catching, Zimbabwe bowled with innovative variation on a pitch that has offered useful bounce and movement off the seam.

- Reuters

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