South Africa complete 3-0 ODI series sweep against Zimbabwe

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Sean Williams' 69 against South Africa went in vain.

South Africa completed a series whitewash against Zimbabwe with a four-wicket win in the third and final one-day international in Paarl.

Reeza Hendricks (66) and Heinrich Klaasen (59) both scored half-centuries as South Africa reached 231 for six with four overs to spare after bowling Zimbabwe all out for 228.

Hendricks, who put on 75 for the first wicket with fellow opener Aiden Markram (42), hit five fours and a six, while wicketkeeper Klaasen struck six fours and a six to take the game away from Zimbabwe.

Earlier, Proteas’ bowlers Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada each took three wickets as Zimbabwe struggled to set an imposing target, with Sean Williams (69) top-scoring for the tourists.

Steyn continued is fine return to ODI as he was clocked at 150kph and bowled well over 140 kph throughout the game on an unresponsive pitch to take 3-29. Rabada ended up impressive figures of 3-32.

Meanwhile, Taylor became the third Zimbabwean to reach 6,000 ODI runs, joining the Flower brothers, Andy and Grant.

South Africa sealed a series win on Wednesday with a 120-run win in Bloemfontein having won the first match by five wickets in Kimberley.

“Our main focus was to keep looking at players and we tried to give everyone good game time,” said South African captain Faf du Plessis.

“Australia is our next tour (at the end of October). It will probably be a bit tougher than this and we will be closer to our best 15 or 16 players for that tour.”

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Lahore Qalandars overcome Hobart Hurricanes to reach Abu Dhabi T20 final

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Jordan Clark (left) took two wickets for Hobart Hurricanes.

Lahore Qalandars are beginning to reap the benefits from their development programme as the PSL franchise booked their place in Saturday’s Abu Dhabi T20 final with a convincing 35-run victory over Hobart Hurricanes.

Qalandars, who fielded a number of players from their programme having scouted Pakistan for promising talent, went into the contest at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday knowing a triumph would see them advance from their group.

That was down largely to captain Sohail Akhtar’s century in the six-wicket win against Yorkshire Vikings on Thursday.

However, there was no repeat from the opening batsman as he fell for 37 although Mohammad Faizan’s half-century saw them reach a competitive 181-6 in their 20 overs.

In their chase, Big Bash League’s Hurricanes made a rapid start with 58 runs after eight overs. But leg-spinner Farzan Raja, who was spotted by Qalandars, was a constant threat for their batsmen and the 23-year-old finished the game as the stand-out bowler with 4-24. Skipper Charlie Wakim top-scored with 43 for Hurricanes, who ended the innings on 146-8.

All the praise was for Raja and the bowler credited head coach Aaqib Javed for showing belief in him.

“It was an amazing game and I want to congratulate Hobart Hurricanes as they played very good cricket,” he said. “I am very happy with my performance as the ball was turning a bit. Aaqib (Javed) said I just have to have contain wickets and not try to take wickets. In T20 cricket, containing bowling is very important and that is what I did.”

Mitchell McClenaghan, one of the most experienced members for Qalandars, believes the result proves that the programme can open doors for aspiring cricketers who have not been noticed.

“It’s great for the Raja family and the whole of the Qalandars organisation that there’s some return for the effort that’s been put into the development programme over the last three or four years,” said the 32-year-old New Zealand fast-bowler.

“It’s nice to see some young cricketers come through and win a couple of games. It’s been a long time coming. Raja was fantastic today. Last night I thought he was really good against Yorkshire, but unfortunately there were three or four balls which went through legs here and there, so his economy didn’t show how well he bowled.”

For Wakim, the 27-year-old lamented his side’s batting performance. “We gave away 20 runs too many but we did back ourselves to chase it,” he said. “I think we set a decent total to chase but we lost wickets in the 12th over when we needed to accelerate.”

Meanwhile, Tony de Zorzi smashed an unbeaten century as Multiply Titans thrashed Boost Defenders by 50 runs in the late game.

De Zorzi hit 106no off 57 balls as the South African outfit posted an imposing total of 218-3.

The opener was well supported by Chris Morris, who contributed with 46. In reply, Defenders reached 168-8 with Colin Ingram scoring 51.

Titans can reach the final if they beat Auckland Aces today.

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Ambidextrous Kamindu Mendis steals the show as England ease to warm-up win in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka spinner Kamindu Mendis.

England came up against one of the rarest sights in cricket during their first tour match in Sri Lanka – ambidextrous spinner Kamindu Mendis – but everything else about their comfortable win was firmly by the book.

Twenty-year-old Mendis was lining up for a strong Sri Lankan Board XI in Colombo and showcased his incredible ability to deliver both right-arm off-breaks and slow left-armers, happily switching from one to the other mid-over with no discernible dip in quality.

Having already made a confident 61, the Galle native proved himself a true all-rounder with his display of versatility but his eye-catching eight-over stint was not enough to distract England skipper Eoin Morgan or Joe Root.

The pair put on an unbroken stand of 174 for the third wicket, finishing not out on 91 and 90 respectively when bad light arrived to bring a 43-run victory via the DLS method.

England had earlier kept a home side featuring nine full internationals to 288-9, with spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid to the fore.

Moeen claimed 3-42 as he reeled off 10 consecutive overs in sapping heat at the P Sara Stadium and is more than happy to stick to bowling with one action.

“I’ve never seen someone do that live but it’s great and fantastic for the game,” he said of Mendis.

“It’s amazing he was so accurate with both arms and really it will be the way cricket is going to go. I’ve tried bowling left-arm but I was so bad…you just don’t have that same feel.

“You hear rumours about these guys being around but for him to bowl to that standard and be that good is fantastic.”

There was a first look at Olly Stone in a senior England shirt but despite showing good signs of pace and bounce his six overs were a peripheral part of the tale. In all England’s seamers bowled 23 overs for 158, compared to 27 overs for 121 from the spin pair plus part-timer Root.

A third specialist, Liam Dawson, is expected to get a run out in the second warm-up on Saturday and could have a role to play in the forthcoming five-match series.

“We feel we (spinners) play a massive role to keep it tight and take wickets but these guys are used to these conditions so it might not be as easy for us as people think,” said Moeen.

“At least we do have things in our favour. It was good for my confidence to get a couple of wickets up front. We would like to think we’ll win this series but we will have to play really well. The conditions will be difficult but hopefully we’ll be fine.”

The last word belonged to Mendis, who has high hopes of bringing his skills to the senior international stage.

“When I was eight years old, playing in the garden with my friends, I learned to bowl with both arms. Now I am comfortable with both and happy to do it any match,” he said.

“I am trying to play for my country and my aim is to play for Sri Lanka, I’ll work hard for it. Root and Morgan knew what I was going to do, they didn’t panic and are very big match players. They are two of the best I have bowled to.”

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