SAfrica beats Zimbabwe by massive 272-run margin

JP Duminy and AB de Villiers made centuries and shared a South African record 219-run partnership for the third wicket as the Proteas racked up 399-6 against the struggling Zimbabweans.Zimbabwe was skittled out for 127 for its heaviest defeat and South Africa's biggest win in ODIs.

Duminy made an ODI career-best 129 and man of the series De Villiers scored his second successive hundred, with 109 off 99 balls. Juan Theron led the Proteas bowlers with 3-18 as Zimbabwe was all out in just 29 overs. Albie Morkel, Wayne Parnell and Johan Botha took two wickets each.

New Zealand's 290-run win over Ireland in 2008 is the heaviest margin of victory in a 50-over international, with Friday's result just 18 runs behind.

"It's hard to find the words to say when you've had such a convincing win," South Africa captain Graeme Smith said. "But I think we've steadily improved throughout the series. The hard work is starting to pay off."

It was the perfect send-off as South Africa departs Sunday for a Twenty20, ODI and two-test series against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates. South Africa won all three one-dayers against Zimbabwe convincingly and also took the two-match Twenty20 series 2-0.

"We didn't play our best cricket today, both batting and bowling," Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura said. "Overall, our skill levels are under-par. It's something we have to go back home and work on."

Duminy and De Villiers set up the one-sided win with their partnership, overtaking the 186 De Villiers and Morkel put on for the third wicket, also against Zimbabwe, in 2007.
De Villiers' ninth ODI hundred, and fifth in 2010, followed on from his 101 not out in the last game. He crashed five fours and five sixes as South Africa raced from 59-2 to 278-3. Duminy, who was man of the match, hit seven fours and four sixes in his second one-day century.

South Africa missed out on just the 10th score of 400 or above in ODIs by one run when David Miller pummeled a four down the ground off the last ball. More (AP) AT AT
Already reeling at 30-3, Zimbabwe lost topscorer Tatenda Taibu (28) and Craig Ervine to Botha in the 16th over and Chigumbura was bowled by Theron off the first ball of the 17th.

Theron then sent a trademark skidding yorker hammering into Shingirai Masakadza's pads, knocking him off his feet and clattering into his middle stump as Zimbabwe slumped to 127-9.

The right-arm seamer had Ian Nicolson caught by wicketkeeper De Villiers three balls later to wrap up the match, adding another three wickets to the 5-44 he took in the second one-dayer.

Theron was only a late call-up for the ODI series following injuries to three of South Africa's leading bowlers.

"We've obviously got experience coming back with Morne Morkel, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn, who are wonderful assets to the team," Smith said. "But it's great to see other guys perform well when they are away. There's big tests ahead."

South Africa's series against Pakistan begins with two T20 games next week. It then meets No.1 ranked test team India at home in three tests, five ODIs and a one-off Twenty20 match before the World Cup starts in February

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