Port Elizabeth, March 3:
Justin Kemp hit an undefeated 78 to lead South Africa to a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe and 3-0 series sweep of the one-day internationals. Earlier, Zimbabweâ€™s former captain Heath Streak returned to international cricket with a defiant 68 to lift his team to 206 for eight wickets. But Kemp rode his good luck â€” a first-ball appeal for caught behind and two dropped catches â€” to guide the home side to 207-5 for an unconvincing win at St Georgeâ€™s Park. Kemp edged Tawanda Mupariwa to the wicketkeeper but was given not out by South African umpire Ian Howell. Kemp slammed four sixes and four fours in his 81-ball innings. South Africa was 79-4 before Kemp went in settled the home sideâ€™s innings.
After Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu won the toss and elected to bat, the side was reeling at 35-5 inside the first 15 overs, then Streakâ€™s calming influence helped lift his young teammates to their highest total of the series. Streak faced 105 balls as he rebuilt the innings with his 13th ODI half-century, almost a year after his last international. He had the support of Brendan Taylor in a 67-run partnership until Taylor was deceived by a slower ball from Adam Bacher to be caught for 41 at 102-6. Then Gavin Ewing joined him, and the pair put on 88 as South Africaâ€™s bowling appeared to lack any venom, and captain Nicky Boje â€” standing in for Graeme Smith who was resting an injured ankle â€” set conservative fields.
Ewing was bowled by Albie Morkel for 46 at 190-7 as he tried to accelerate the scoring rate in the final overs, and Streak was run out while attempting a risky second run. South Africaâ€™s best bowler was Charl Langeveldt who took two for 40. Streak showed his value to the side with the ball, too, with a perfect outswinger to dismiss AB de Villiers (7) in his second over and finished with 1-28. Tawanda Mupariwa was the best with 2-25 in seven overs. The teams move on to the two-match Test series starting on Friday.