It couldn’t happen again, could it? It could, and it did in Bloemfontein on Wednesday, when Zimbabwe made the Proteas look silly for the second time in as many games. And, again, SA found their way out of the wet paper bag their opponents should have been — this time to win by 120 runs thanks to the all-round efforts of Dale Steyn and hat-trick hero Imran Tahir. That, and SA’s five-wicket victory in Kimberley on Sunday, earned them the one-day series with a game to play. But there was less for the home side to celebrate than to sweat over. Another challenging pitch was only a minor mitigating factor in another shoddy batting performance, not an excuse. On Kimberley’s spicy surface SA slumped to 58/4 and 96/5, chasing only 118. Things got worse in Bloem, where they dwindled to 101/7 in a ball more than half their innings.

Cue Steyn, playing his first ODI in almost two years, to show the proper batsmen how it is done. It has taken him 48 innings and more than 13 years as an ODI ...

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