South African spinner Imran Tahir registered a 6-wicket haul consisting of a hat-trick to spur his side on to a 120-run win against minnows Zimbabwe in the 2nd clash of the ODI series held at Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
Tahir conceded just twenty-four runs in an impressive performance which played a key role in ensuring a comprehensive win for the Proteas after being restricted to just 198 runs in 47.3 overs.
However, the Zimbabwe batsmen never really managed to deliver the goods under pressure despite the below-par target on board. Pace-bowler Dale Steyn who made a comeback to the ODI squad after nearly two years made his presence felt early on by dismissing the likes of Solomon Mire and Craig Ervine cheaply restricting the visitors to a score of 58/5.
Tahir ensured a composed finish at this stage with a hat-trick which sparked wild celebrations from his teammates, with the rest of the batsmen crumbling soon as well. Zimbabwe were eventually knocked out for a score of 78 in 24 overs which was largely due to fine all-round performances by Tahir (6 for 24 in 6 overs) and Steyn (2 for 19 in 6 overs).
Imran Tahir picks up his SIXTH wicket of the match to help the @StandardBankZA Proteas clinch a 120-run victory against Zimbabwe.
South Africa take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 3, 2018
Fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo further played a key role by choking the flow of runs registering figures of (1-26 in 7 overs) and (1-7 in 5 overs) respectively.
The 3rd ODI will be played on 6th October at Paarl and promises to be an exciting contest.