Rain puts Zim tour out of its misery

14 October 2018 - 17:20 By Telford Vice
Play was not possible at Willowmore Park in Benoni on Sunday October 14 2018 due to persistent rain.
Play was not possible at Willowmore Park in Benoni on Sunday October 14 2018 due to persistent rain.
Image: Cricket SA/Twitter

Two days of Highveld rain and hail brought mercy and a smidgen of cricket history to Benoni on Sunday.

More than two hours and two umpires’ inspections after the third T20 between South Africa and Zimbabwe was scheduled to start‚ and with little prospect of a big enough break in the downpour‚ it was declared dead in the water.

With that‚ for the first time in 22 matches spread over all formats in 19 years in bilateral series in SA‚ Zimbabwe managed not to lose in South Africa.

Not that they won.

But‚ having been ruthlessly dealt with by the home side in all three one-day internationals and the first two T20s‚ a washout in the last fixture of their shambolic tour would have come as something like solace for the whipping boys from north of the border.

SA dominated every aspect in the other five matches‚ even on pitches that were anything but made to order in the first two ODIs in Kimberley and Bloemfontein.

The Zimbabweans threatened‚ invariably singularly and sporadically‚ to look like they might know what they were doing.

But SA doused those rare challenges as effortlessly as if they were pouring a bit of braaiside beer on a boerie fat flare-up.

The presentation after Sunday’s abandonment — a strictly made-for-TV ridiculousness considering there was nothing to present from a match that never was — told its own story of sorriness.

Not only did the rested Faf du Plessis not do the apparently necessary‚ player-of-the-series Imran Tahir had been released from the squad and was also missing.

In the obligatory interview‚ Du Plessis’ stand-in‚ JP Duminy‚ maintained there were “good things to come out of the tour”.

“We’ve been speaking of the brand of cricket we want to play with the bat‚ and the Australia series will be an opportunity for us to bring that out.”

Ah yes‚ Australia — where SA will play three ODIs and a T20 next month.

Finally‚ proper opponents.