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Amla ton hands Proteas win

Hashim Amla struck a brilliant unbeaten century as South Africa cruised to a 93-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first one-day international in Bulawayo.

Amla finished 122 not out at Queens Sports Club, with fellow opener Quinton de Kock contributing 63 and Francois du Plessis 59, to lead the Proteas to 309 for three from their 50 overs.

Hamilton Masakadza top-scored in the Zimbabwe response with 61 and there was also a half-century for Sean Williams, but it was never going to be enough. The hosts were all out for 216 with a ball to spare.

Zimbabwe, who handed ODI debuts to Luke Jongwe, John Nyumbu and Neville Madziva, elected to bowl first, but might soon have been regretting that decision with de Kock particularly aggressive in a 109-run opening stand with Amla.

The 21-year-old reached his fifty with a pull to deep backward square-leg for two off Jongwe in just the 12th over, but became off-spinner Nyumbu's first ODI victim soon after when he lofted a simple catch to Brendan Taylor at backward point.

South Africa opener Hashim Amla on his way to an unbeaten century to set up victory in the first one-day international against Zimbabwe

That brought du Plessis out to join Amla in the middle and the pair continued to frustrate the home bowlers, although the latter was given a double reprieve after offering two tough caught-and-bowled chances to Masakadza in quick succession.

Du Plessis' fifty - off 69 balls - duly arrived in a 19-run 40th over, Jongwe the bowler pummelled, but he departed shortly afterwards when he mistimed one from Prosper Utseya and found Vusi Sibanda running from cover.

Amla completed his 15th one-day hundred by tucking Utseya down the leg side for two in the 45th.

Nyumbu returned to the attack with four overs left and claimed the wicket of AB de Villiers, but only after conceding two sixes to Amla and one to de Villiers. The captain went for one big shot too many and holed out to Williams at deep midwicket, ending a cameo which yielded 21 from 12 balls.

JP Duminy added an unbeaten 22 from 11 deliveries as South Africa afforded Zimbabwe no respite.

The Zimbabwe response got off to a shaky start - they found themselves three down with 34 on the board, with Sibanda, Richmond Mutumbami and Taylor all departing cheaply.

Masakadza and Williams went some way to repairing the damage with a 100-run fourth-wicket partnership, but the writing was on the wall for the home team when the former became Wayne Parnell's second victim.

Williams fell two overs later for 51 and, although Elton Chigumbura slowed the South Africans' charge, the Zimbabwe wickets continued to tumble apace and they were dismissed for 216.

Spinners Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso finished with three wickets apiece.

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