Bulawayo: Wayne Parnell took three wickets and contributed some handy runs as South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 61 runs in the second one-day international to clinch the three-match series on Tuesday in Bulawayo.
After Parnell`s 24 lifted South Africa from 211 for seven to 257 all out, the left-armer returned figures of 3 for 28 as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 196.
Although South Africa`s margin of victory was smaller than in the first ODI, it was in many respects more convincing given that Zimbabwe never threatened the visitors` total.
The home side`s spinners had given their side a glimmer of hope, only for another batting collapse to leave them 45 for four as the top order struggled with the pace and bounce generated by Parnell and Ryan McLaren, who took 3 for 21.
"I thought in the Test matches they didn`t play the short ball that badly but I picked it up in the ODIs that it`s definitely an area where we can expose them a little bit," South Africa captain AB de Villiers said.
"You`ve still got to get the mix right and get the execution right, which we did really well."
Although Sean Williams hit a fighting 55 as he showed the aptitude required to take on the South African bowlers, he found no support from the other end as wickets continued to tumble.
"I don`t know whether it`s a lack of application or value of wickets," Williams said of his teammates.
"Maybe the guys just need to bat more for time rather than trying to score too many runs up front against a quality bowling attack."
When Williams was out to McLaren in the 37th over Zimbabwe were a dismal 114 for seven, but the last three batsmen struck some lusty blows to narrow the margin of defeat and give the home fans something to cheer.
Earlier Quinton de Kock had scored a run-a-ball 38 that took him past 1,000 ODI runs in record time, as he equalled the 21 innings that Viv Richards, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott had taken to reach the landmark.
However John Nyumbu picked up De Kock and his fellow opener Hashim Amla, before de Villiers` bizarre run-out reduced South Africa to 60 for three.
Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy revived the innings with a partnership of 69, before Prosper Utseya bowled Duminy for 36 and had Du Plessis caught for 55.
South Africa still looked set for a big score when David Miller began to find the boundary, hitting two huge sixes, but his innings was cut short by a controversial umpiring decision on 45.
Fortunately for the tourists, Parnell and Kyle Abbott filled the void to see them to what was ultimately to prove a winning total.