HARARE: Zimbabwe crushed favourites South Africa by nine wickets Sunday as the non-cap Twenty20 tri-nations tournament at Harare Sports Club reached a stunning climax.
It was the second time in five days that the host nation put their powerful neighbours to the sword in a warm-up event for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka this September and October.
Zimbabwe won by 29 runs last Wednesday in the pool phase of a tournament that included Bangladesh, but lost by six wickets to South Africa Saturday and entered the final as outsiders.
South Africa made 146-6 off 20 overs with Faf du Plessis (66) top scoring and Zimbabwe reached 150-1 with 17 balls to spare thanks to a superb unbeaten partnership between captain Brendan Taylor (59) and Hamilton Masakadza (58).
Many South African cricket writers had argued against the Proteas going to Harare, saying Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were too weak to provide meaningful opposition.
It was a dismal tournament for South Africa opener and captain Hashim Amla as an 88 not out was followed by a string of low scores and he made just three runs in the final after big hitter Richard Levi went for a duck off his first ball.
Taylor was voted man of the match and the four half-centuries of No 1 batsman Masakadza during the eight-day tournament earned him the man of the series award. (AFP)