Fri, Sep 22, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Boucher rides his luck as Proteas sweep Zimbabwe


Powered by a 44-ball century from Mark Boucher, South Africa defeated Zimbabwe by 171 runs in the third one-day cricket international on Wednesday and swept the series 3-0.

The Proteas scored 418 for 5, and Zimbabwe fell short at 247 for 4.

Boucher hit the second-fastest century in one-dayers. Pakistan's Shahid Afridi holds the record off 37 balls against Sri Lanka in 1996.

Boucher reached 100 with his eighth of 10 sixes -- the highest number in an innings by a South African. He ended undefeated on 147 off 68 balls, and was named man of the match and series.

"I rode my luck a little," he said, referring to Zimbabwe dropping five catches.

It was the second time South Africa passed 400 in a 50-over match. Despite the huge total, Boucher thought the score could have been higher.

"We lost our way a little, because we were targeting the world record," he said.

Sri Lanka set the ODI world record in July with 443-9 in 50 overs against the Netherlands.

Captain Jacques Kallis won the toss and elected to bat at Sedgars Park. Loots Bosman (88) and Alviro Petersen (80) shared a 160-run first-wicket partnership. Kallis hit 50 before skying a catch to Elton Chigumbura off Zimbabwe captain Prosper Utseya.

Zimbabwe's reply was held together by an 88 from opener Terrence Duffin: He batted for three hours, 15 minutes, faced 134 balls and hit seven fours before he was trapped LBW by Andre Nel.

He shared a 102-run stand for the third wicket with Hamilton Masakadza, who batted breezily for his 55 off 53 balls before he chased a wide one from Roger Telemachus to offer Boucher a catch low and to his right behind the stumps.

South Africa's bowling never showed any great intensity in the absence of frontliners Makhaya Ntini and Shaun Pollock, but Telemachus was the best of them with 2-33 off eight overs.

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