South Africa’s endeavor to flavor up Boxing Day Cricket this season marked another iconic occasion in Test history. The fact that it was the first four-day Test under lights is spicy enough, but the dramatic ending of the game made it spicier. It came out as the third-shortest match since World War II. A total of 907 deliveries were bowled in the match that lasted only four sessions.
South Africa beat Zimbabwe within two days of the four-day match. South Africa scored 309 for 9 wickets batting in the first inning of the match. The inning featured a knock of 125 from Aiden Markram. Skipper AB de Villiers scored 53. Zimbabwe scored only 68 and 121 runs batting in two stretches losing the match by 120 runs and an inning.
Zimbabwe faced a similar defeat back in 2005 against New Zealand. Back then the defeat was by an inning and 294 runs. In the recent match, South Africa only bowled 72.4 overs, in two innings combined. In the first inning, Morne Morkel attacked with a five-wicket haul, while in the second, Keshav Maharaj finished with 5 wickets for 59 runs. In the overnight attack, Zimbabwe slogged to 30 runs for 4 wickets. In the next day, the first wicket fell right after the third over.
In the previous day, the pitch had a volatile condition. In South Africa’s inning, the first two session under day lights had impressive runs off Marken, but under lights, the team wobbled completely. However, Zimbabwe could not withstand South Africa attacks even in the following day session.
Batting in the second inning, Zimbabwe came out as a sturdy bet, compared to its first inning. The opening partnership was for 13 long overs until the tea break. There were small partnership stretches in the inning at the top order. In the middle order, Zimbabwe batsmen came up with some short-lived strikes. There was a six off Masakadza in the delivery off Keshav Maharaj.
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