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South Africa beats Zimbabwe by 93 runs in 1st ODI

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BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe - South Africa was far too strong for Zimbabwe, making 309-3 and bowling the home team out for 216 to win the first one-day international by 93 runs at Queens Sports Club on Sunday.

Hashim Amla batted through South Africa's innings for an unbeaten 122 as the tourists posted a big total after being put in to bat on a slow wicket. Zimbabwe was bowled out one ball short of 50 overs when captain Elton Chigumbura skied a catch off left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso.

Spinners Phangiso and Imran Tahir took three wickets each for South Africa to back up Amla's efforts with the bat and the visiting Proteas cruised to a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. South Africa also won the one-off test between the African neighbours last week.

Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Williams scored half-centuries in a partnership of exactly 100 in Zimbabwe's chase, but that was the only stand that troubled the South Africans. They fell in the space of two overs and South Africa wrapped up a big win.

The second and third games are also in Bulawayo on Tuesday and Thursday.

Amla was South Africa's anchor as he collected a 15th ODI hundred and was part of two telling stands, a 109-run opening partnership with Quinton de Kock and a 123-run partnership with Faf du Plessis.

"It's always nice to get runs. I just try and do it as often as I can," Amla said.

De Kock contributed a rapid 63 with eight fours and a six at the top of the innings and Du Plessis constructed a more watchful 59 from No. 3.

Offspinner John Nyumbu took two wickets on his limited-overs debut for Zimbabwe but South Africa's batsmen were never under sustained pressure. Captain AB de Villiers came in and clubbed two sixes in his 21 from 12 balls and JP Duminy was 22 not out off 11 balls with two fours and a six at the end.

Masakadza and Williams lifted Zimbabwe from 34-3 with their century stand, but Masakadza hit a catch straight at Du Plessis off Wayne Parnell (2-43) to break their resistance. Williams also sliced a short ball from Tahir straight to Du Plessis at point soon after and the Zimbabweans fell away quickly.

South Africa was resting front-line fast bowlers Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel ahead of the triangular series against Zimbabwe and Australia later this month.

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