Justin Kemp survived a number of chances to smash 78 not out and steer South Africa [ Images ] to a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the third and final one-day international on Wednesday.
Kemp enjoyed the benefit of doubt on a dubious caught behind decision first ball and was dropped twice to lift South Africa from 79 for four to 207 for five in 46.3 overs.
Zimbabwe, aided by the return of former captain Heath Streak, who was making his first international appearance since ending a year-long dispute with the board of Zimbabwe Cricket, made 206 for eight in their 50 overs.
Streak, who scored a battling 68, steadied the innings after the visitors had slumped to 35 for five, with partnerships with Brendan Taylor (41) and Gavin Ewing (46) to post a respectable total.
"I was a bit nervous, especially because of the situation when I came in to bat," said Streak. "The important thing was to chip in."
Zimbabwe's fielding was their biggest downfall, dropping four catches after they had put South Africa under early pressure.
The medium-pacer appeared unfortunate not to include Kemp amongst his victims when the all-rounder seemed to edge the first ball he faced to Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu.
Kemp and Ashwell Prince [ Images ] then put on 59 for the fifth wicket to steady the innings, before Kemp and Mark Boucher [ Images ] sealed the win and a 3-0 series whitewash by adding the last 69 runs in just 8.3 overs.
Earlier, Streak's composure and sensible strokeplay was crucial for Zimbabwe after opening bowlers Charl Langeveldt and Monde Zondeki ripped through the top order to leave the visitors 32 for four in the 10th over.
Taibu was then run out for a duck three overs later to leave Zimbabwe in dire trouble.
Taylor and Streak, however, carefully added 67 for the sixth wicket before Streak and Ewing hammered 88 off 91 balls to ensure some respectability.
"When I was batting it was a good partnership with Brendan Taylor that got us back into the game," said Streak.
"I decided that I had to stay until the end of the innings and play each ball on its merits.
"The important thing was to keep the ball on the ground and not try to play too many special shots.
Langeveldt ended with two for 40, while stand-in captain Nicky Boje, deputising for the rested Graeme Smith [ Images ], was the most economical of South Africa's bowlers with no wicket for 23 runs off 10 overs of left-arm spin.
S.Matsikenyeri c Boucher b Zondeki 17
B.Rogers c Boucher b Langeveldt 1
S.Williams c Kemp b Langeveldt 1
H.Masakadza c Gibbs b Zondeki 2
B.Taylor c Kemp b Bacher 41
T.Taibu run out 0
H.Streak run out 68
G.Ewing b Morkel 46
P.Utseya not out 6
T.Mupariwa not out 1
Extras (lb-4 nb-6 w-13) 23
Total (for eight wickets, 50 overs) 206
Fall of wickets: 1-9 2-12 3-23 4-32 5-35 6-102 7-190 8-205
Did not bat: C.Mpofu.
Bowling: Langeveldt 10-0-40-2 (nb-3 w-3), Zondeki 10-1-46-2 (w-3), Kemp 6-2-17-0 (w-4), Morkel 8-0-54-1 (nb-3 w-1), Boje 10-2-23-0 (w-2), Bacher 6-0-22-1.
A.Bacher b Morkel 9
A.B de Villiers c Taibu b Streak 7
J.Rudolph c Taibu b Mupariwa 33
H.Gibbs c Taibu b Mupariwa 21
A.Prince run out 28
J.Kemp not out 78
M.Boucher not out 18
Extras (lb-1 w-10 nb-2) 13
Total (for five wickets, 46.3 overs) 207
Fall of wickets: 1-11 2-35 3-72 4-79 5-138.
Did not bat: N.Boje, A.Morkel, M.Zondeki, C.Langeveldt.
Bowling: Streak 8-1-28-1 (w-3), Mpofu 9-0-59-1 (nb-1 w-5), Mupariwa 7-0-25-2 (nb-1 w-1), Utseya 8-0-27-0, Williams 9.3-0-43-0 (w-1), Ewing 5-0-24-0.
Result: South Africa won by five wickets.
South Africa won the three-match series 3-0