Bloemfontein: Dale Steyn shone with the bat on his return to one-day international cricket on Wednesday, helping South Africa avoid humiliation in the second one-day international against Zimbabwe at the Mangaung Oval.
Steyn top-scored with a career-best 60 in a South African total of 198.
The veteran fast bowler came in to bat with South Africa reeling at 101 for seven.
He and Andile Phehlukwayo (28) added 75 for the eighth wicket, a record for South Africa against Zimbabwe, and Steyn went on to take the hosts past their all-time low of 185 against the neighbouring country.
“It’s nice to get us out of a precarious situation,” Steyn told SuperSport television as he left the field after he was last man out.
“I thought 200-220 would have been a nice score, when Andy and I were batting. We planned on batting five overs at a time. 198, we have to take it. We’re there or thereabouts but we’re going to have to bowl well.”
Playing in his first one-day international in two years, Steyn hit eight fours and a six in an 85-ball innings.
His previous one-day international score was 35 against India in Jaipur in 2009/10.
Opening bowlers Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara put an inexperienced South African batting line-up under early pressure, taking a wicket apiece inside the first 13 deliveries of the innings.
Jarvis finished with two for 26 and Chatara took three for 42. Seamer Donald Tiripano and leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta took two wickets each.
South Africa have won 28 matches in a row against Zimbabwe since losing in Durban in 1999/2000.