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Cricket: S Africa pip Zimbabwe by 8 wkts in warm-up match

South Africa, favourites alongside India to lift the 2011 ICC World Cup, kicked off their preparation for the tournament with a thumping 8-wicket win over Zimbabwe in their first warm-up game at the M A Chidambaram stadium here this evening.

Chasing an easy 153-run target, the Proteas made light of Zimbabwe's bowling to make 153 losing just two wickets in 23.3 overs, scoring at 6.51 runs per over.

Earlier, making things easy for themselves, the Proteas dismissed Zimbabwe for 152 in 41.5 overs as their rivals could not bat out the full quota of 50 overs.

South African opener and captain Grame Smith, playing his last ODI series as well as the World Cup, scored 41 off 54 balls with three fours and one six. His opening partner scored 45 off 33 balls with the help of seven fours.

Amla was the first batsman to fall, after which their star all rounder Jack Kallis steered the team to victory scoring an unbeaten 49 off 39 balls with three fours and three sixes, proving his fitness for the main event. He returned to the squad after recovering from an injury sustained during the home Test series against India. A B de Vilieres, the Proteas wicket keeper, remained not out on 12 off 15 balls. He hit one four.

The onus was on Kallis after Smith became the second Proteas wicket to fall, stumped by Taibu off Price.

Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 152 in 41.5 overs

    S Africa 153-2 in 23.3 overs (G Smith 41, H Amla 45, J H Kallis 49 n.o)

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