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Smith leads South Africa to big win

BLOEMFONTEIN: Graeme Smith hit a brutal half-century as South Africa raced to a seven-wicket win in the first Twenty20 international against Zimbabwe here on Friday.

In his first match since handing over the 20-overs captaincy to Johan Botha, Smith slammed 58 off 29 balls as South Africa chased down a seemingly competitive Zimbabwe total of 168 for four, winning with 25 balls to spare.

Smith and Loots Bosman gave South Africa a blistering start, putting on 90 for the first wicket off 42 balls. Bosman made 33 off only 15 deliveries.

Both openers were out within the space of four balls and debutant Colin Ingram followed seven balls later, but JP Duminy (35 not out) and David Miller (36 not out) resumed the assault on a weak Zimbabwe bowling attack, putting on an unbeaten 70 off 43 balls.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura declared himself happy with his side's batting but said their bowling needed to improve ahead of the second and final match in Kimberley on Sunday.

“I thought we had a chance if we bowled well but the South Africans batted really well in the first six overs,” he said.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe 168 for four in 20 overs (Masakadza 72, Chibhabha 52) lost to South Africa 169 for three in 15.5 overs (Smith 58, Bosman 33, Duminy 35 not out, Miller 36 not out) .

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