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South Africa breeze to series victory

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February 28, 2005 11:20 IST

Graeme Smith scored 117 to guide South Africa to an emphatic series win in the second one-day international against Zimbabwe on Sunday.

South Africa, easy winners of the first game on Friday, made 329 for six after losing the toss and then restricted Zimbabwe for 198 for seven to win by 131 runs.

Smith top scored, hitting five fours and a six, but South Africa also owed much to the power of Justin Kemp.

He struck a blistering 53 not out off 21 balls, hitting two fours and five sixes to push the home side's total out of reach.

Kemp notched his half-century off 19 balls to tie a South African record set by Mark Boucher against Kenya in 2001.

Kemp knew nothing about the record. "I had no idea," he said. "I was just thinking about smashing every ball for six."

After some early setbacks, Smith and Herschelle Gibbs righted the innings with a stand of 134 for the fourth wicket.

The partnership was ended in the 37th over when Gibbs smashed a delivery from off-spinner Barney Rogers straight back at the bowler and was caught after making 75.

Rogers struck again in the 45th over when Smith heaved one of his tame deliveries to Hamilton Masakadza at long-on.

Christopher Mpofu was best of the Zimbabwe bowlers, finishing with three for 59 from nine overs.

Stuart Matsikenyeri and Rogers shared a slow but gritty opening stand of 71 for Zimbabwe.

Medium pacer Albie Morkel separated the openers in the 18th over when Matsikenyeri top edged a pull shot to Kemp at deep square leg to be dismissed for 16.

Rogers, who was caught at mid-on by Nicky Boje off Morkel in the 22nd over, hit seven fours in his 47, Zimbabwe's top score.

The Zimbabweans have been struggling since last year's walkout by 15 rebel players but two of them, Andy Blignaut and ex-captain Heath Streak, returned to the fold last week.

Captain Tatena Taibu said they could play in the two-Test series which follows the final one-dayer on Wednesday.

"It's very good news for Zimbabwe cricket that they are back," Taibu said. "Assuming they are fit and ready they will be looked at for the Test series."

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