An amazing team performance from Zimbabwe has broken a 31-year drought, as they defeated Australia for the first time in over three decades, at Harare Sports Club in an ODI.
It was definitely not a batsman’s pitch and conditions were irritatingly tough. However, with the return of skipper Michael Clarke, the Aussies chose to have a bat first.
Unfortunately both Aaron FInch and Phillip Hughes failed at the top of the order, along with George Bailey. Michael Clarke came in and played anchor for the innings, before his hamstring was aggravated and he had to retire hurt.
However, Clarke did come back later in the innings to finish on a brilliant captain’s knock of 68 not out! Brad Haddin also pitched in with an illustrious 49, whilst Ben Cutting whacked 26 down the order.
Australia finished on a rather small score of 209 for the loss of 9 wickets. Prosper Utseya was once again brilliant taking two wickets for Zimbabwe, as the door opened for them to get a victory!
Zimbabwe were so fired up when they went into their innings, because Australia had given them a back stage pass to break their 31-year drought. They most certainly took the back stage pass, as they tormented Australia and frustrated Michael Clarke, eventually leaving him discombobulated.
Brendan Taylor set it up for Zimbabwe with a contributing 32 up the order, before Elton Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya put the foot on the gas. Chigum finished on a spectacular 52 not out, whilst Utseya was unbeaten on 30.
Not even Australia’s star bowling line-up good get their heads around Zimbabwe’s miracle performance. At the end of the day, Zimbabwe were the better team and they deserved the victory 100%. Australia just have some work to do…
It was amazing to see Zimbabwe take the confidence they got out of their last performance against South Africa and convert into something bigger against Australia. They worked really well as a team, and they will become a bigger threat in the future, now they’ve beaten the number one ODI team in world cricket!
In what was probably Zimbabwe’s best ever performance against South Africa, Prosper Utseya was the dictator behind the demolition of South Africa’s middle order, despite the fact that the Proteas got up by 60, at Harare in an ODI.
Utseya was sublime bowling in the first innings after the South Africans elected to bat. South Africa actually got off to a perfect start, with Hashim Amla whacking 66 to go with a 76 from Quinton de Kock. The first wicket fell at the colossal score of 141! At this point, Zimbabwe were looking dead and buried.
Until Prosper Utseya pulled the rabbit out of the hat, as he took one wicket. Everyone applauded. Next ball, boom! Rilee Rossouw, gone for a golden duck. What! Utseya is on a hat-trick. Drum rolls please…
Yeah! The crowd go wild as Utseya completes the hat-trick with a ripping ball to dismiss David Miller! But, Utseya wasn’t done there as he continued to tantalize the then timid South African batsmen, as they were rolled for 231, after being 0-141 at one point.
Utseya finished with 5 crucial wickets, giving Zimbabwe a sniff of victory. Unfortunately, Zimbabwe couldn’t take that chance, but they did pretty well getting to 170. It was Ryan McLaren and Dale Steyn who disappointed the Zimbabweans, as they took a trio of wickets each.
Although Zimbabwe did not win, they can be extremely proud of their effort. Not many sides have the guts to pull of something like that against one of the best teams in world cricket.
It was great for cricket that Zimbabwe found some much-needed form, and I hope they can continue that in the near and even far future. Critics have been questioning their position in cricket, but now they have shown why they are not an Associate nation.
Zimbabwe need to keep going, and use this momentum. As for South Africa, well they better watch out because Zimbabwe are getting better by the minute. Zimbabwe will next be playing against the Australians at Harare, on August the 31st.
A monumental, colossal and classy partnership of 206, the highest ever for a South African ODI, between Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers has taken the Proteas over the line in their one day clash against Australia, at Harare.
Batting first, Australia dominated the play, with Aaron Finch hitting a sublime ton (102), to go with a half-century from his partner Phil Hughes, who was finally given a chance at International Cricket after all the runs he scored.
Mitch Marsh came in after Hughes, but wasn’t quite as lucky, going straight back for a minor score of just 5. George Bailey, on the other hand, made up for his minor score last game, with a brilliant and electrifying innings of 66.
Stephen Smith contributed with 31 and Mitch Johnson got some more quick runs down the order. With all this in mind, Australia managed a very reasonable total of 327/7 from their 50 overs.
South Africa took it in their stride though, and played like the cool, calm and collected batsmen that they are. Quinton de Kock opened up the account with 19, followed up by 24 from Hashim Amla. From then on, it was all Faf and AB.
Du Plessis and de Villiers notched up a massive, jaw dropping partnership of 206. AB de Villiers was in pristine touch, finishing the game on a very substantial 136 not out, from just 98, making light work of the Australian bowlers.
Faf du Plessis also finished on a ton, finishing on 106 to complete his first ODI century for the Proteas. He was unlucky though, as he was dismissed at 106, being caught by Steve Smith.
JP Duminy came in to lend a hand, clobbering 33 not out on his way to a contributing innings. However, like I said before, it was all about de Villiers and du Plessis.
South Africa finished up winning with 20 deliveries to spare, hitting 328! It was a magnificent team performance that they can all be very proud of!
In other cricket, India have turned their tour of England around with a thumping 133 run win over the Poms, in their very own backyard. Suresh Raina was the star with a sparkling century to go with his one wicket. Ravindra Jadeja was no slouch either, hitting 9 not out and bagging four important wickets.
England just collapsed. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. They might have been getting complacent, and India attacked that like carnivores in the Corbett National Park!
A blistering stand off 109 from just 51 deliveries from Glenn Maxwell and Mitch Marsh in the 1st ODI between Zimbabwe and Australia, has given the Aussies a colossal 198 run win after they posted a massive score, and then demolished the Zimbabwe line up.
Many were expecting Australia to be a little rusty, as this was their first International appearance for 4 months. Plus, they had no Michael Clarke, no David Warner, and Phil Hughes was overlooked. Yet, they still won by 198.
Watching the first 40 overs curiously on my television at home, Australia just dominated the play. Brad Haddin and Aaron Finch were in perfect touch. It took a ball to roll bag and merely clip Haddin’s leg stump, for him to be walking off. Haddin continued his superb form with a dazzling 46.
Aaron Finch was no slouch either, as he piled up the runs, bagging 67, including 5 fours and 3 enormous maximums. Soon after his dismissal, George Bailey came to the crease, but he went for 14. It was the partnership after that really mattered.
With Glenn ‘The Big Show’ Maxwell living up to his stage name, with Mitchell Marsh whacking boundaries beside him, Australia were speeding towards 300 after a slower than usual start.
It was clear Maxwell hadn’t played for a while, because he had a big cave-man like beard. However, the beard came with power. Maxwell 9 fours and 5 massive, entertaining, bewildering sixes that were sent plummeting into the crowd at Harare Sports Club. Moeen Ali, look out. Here is the new ‘Beard to be feared’.
Maxwell was in such good touch that his innings even included a rather arrogant, but of course still entertaining, switch hit six! Zimbabwe were left perplexed. They didn’t have a clue as to what to do. Glenn Maxwell, on the other hand was just shaking his head after the extremely rare dot ball.
As for Mitchell Marsh, he was the anchor of the innings before the arrival of Maxwell, and upped the anti when Glenn came. Marsh finished with the brilliant total of 89 from 83 deliveries, with 7 fours and 4 sixes. He even hit a ball onto the roof!
Glenn Maxwell went a little further with his strike rate, finishing with 93 from just 46 deliveries at a strike rate of 202.17! Steven Smith wasn’t so lucky, taking one for the team as he was run out for just 1.
Mitch Johnson was in a good mood though, as he hit 20 late runs from 10 balls to hit Australia to a whopping 350. This even included a massive 6 that shattered the commentary box window!
With 350 runs up their sleeve, Australia attacked from the get-go with the ball. Mitchell Starc opened up the account early with a ripping inswinger catching opener Tino Mawoyo LBW for 1, in just the 2nd over.
Mawoyo’s counterpart, Sikandar Raza, wasn’t quite as rusty as he contributed a worthy 33. The first drop, Hamilton Masakadza was the star of the Zimbabwe innings with a crisp 70. However, this was to be the last contribution to the Zimbabwe innings.
Zimbabwe crumbled from then on, being dismissed for 152 from just about 40 overs. Mitchell Starc picked up 2 wickets, whilst Mitch Johnson bagged 1. Nathan Lyon was in good touch with 2 as well, but it was Steve Smith that did the real damage, taking 3 wickets.
Oh yeah, and in the other match between England and India, the first ODI, play was completely abandoned without a ball bowled.
This match was a great chance for Australia to play some cricket, especially when they play it like this. They will be challenged though when they come up against South Africa soon…