Associated Press

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, Zimbabwe’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 — a first-ball appeal for caught behind and two dropped catches — to guide the home side to 207-5 for an unconvincing win at St George’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 side’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 Streak’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 Africa’s bowling appeared to lack any venom, and captain Nicky Boje — standing in for Graeme Smith who was resting an injured ankle — 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 Africa’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.