Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Cricket: Zimbabwe edge Australia in a thriller to seal historic win

Cricket: Zimbabwe edge Australia in a thriller to seal historic win

CANBERRA – Zimbabwe beat Australia by three wickets in Townsville to win the third ODI and taking home crucial ICC Men's CWCSL points in a famous victory.

Warner the sole warrior as Burl rocks the hosts

It was a woeful start with the bat for the hosts, as they were reduced to 72/5 after only 18 overs. Put in to bat first, Zimbabwe made full use of the conditions on offer in Townsville.

Richard Ngarava and Victor Nyauchi sent Aaron Finch and Steve Smith packing for 5 and 1 respectively. Brad Evans then inflicted a double-strike, sending Alex Carey (4) and Marcus Stoinis (3) back into the hut. Cameron Green would perish soon to Sean Williams for 3 as half the Australian side were back in the pavilion before the 20th over.

Meanwhile, David Warner could only watch from the other end, as wickets fell at regular intervals and the Ryan Burl show started.

Warner would bring up his 26th ODI half-century, batting with his typical bullish intent and aggression. But he was hapless as Burl cleaned up the Australia lineup from the other end.

Glenn Maxwell (19) and Ashton Agar (0) were his first two victims. Warner finally ran out of patience, as Burl would account for his wicket after a well-made 94.

Burl then dismissed the remainder of the tail featuring Mitchell Starc (2) and Josh Hazlewood (0) as Australia were bowled out for 141. Burl ended his spell with figures of 5/10.

Zimbabwe survive nervy moments to clinch a historic victory

Zimbabwe had a decent partnership at the top, with Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Tadiwanashe Marumani giving them a 38-run opening stand. But after Kaitano was dismissed on 19 by Hazlewood, the visitors would have to endure some jitters.

Hazlewood then sent Wessly Madhevere (2) and Sean Williams packing on back-to-back deliveries to further increase the tension in the Zimbabwe camp.

Sikandar Raza (8) also could not much of a contribution and Marumani's dismissal for a well-made 35 by Green had the visitors reeling at 77/5.

A crucial partnership of 38 runs between skipper Regis Chakabva and Tony Munyonga would then calm some nerves. The pair batted patiently, taking their time, while not taking any unnecessary risks.

Their stand took Zimbabwe to 115, when Ashton Agar put another spanner in their hopes of a Zimbabwe victory. Munyonga was bowled for 17 by the left-arm spinner, with the visitors still needing 17 more runs for a win.

Chakabva, joined by the hero with the ball Ryan Burl edged Zimbabwe sealed a famous win. Chakabva would play a captain's knock of (37*) while Burl scored 11. Mitchell Starc claimed his 200th ODI wicket as he dismissed Burl late in the innings but Zimbabwe held their nerves to win the match by three wickets, with Brad Evans smashing home the winning runs.

It was only Zimbabwe's third win against Australia in 33 attempts and their first since 2014 in Harare. This was also the first time they have defeated Australia in Australia in ODI cricket.

Despite this loss, the hosts sealed the ODI series 2-1 thanks to their wins in the opening two matches.–ICC