• Saturday, December 27, 2014

Freedom in the air

Zimbabwe end 31-year wait

Agencies, Harare
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura is mobbed by his teammates after their famous three-wicket win against Australia at the Harare Sports Club yesterday. It was Zimbabwe's first ODI victory against the Aussies after 31 years. Photo: AFP
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura is mobbed by his teammates after their famous three-wicket win against Australia at the Harare Sports Club yesterday. It was Zimbabwe's first ODI victory against the Aussies after 31 years. Photo: AFP

Captain Elton Chigumbura hit a fluent half-century as Zimbabwe secured a famous three-wicket win over Australia, only their second ever victory over the four-times world champions, in the triangular series on Sunday.

After electing to bat, Australia were restricted to 209 for nine in their 50 overs, a target Zimbabwe reached with two overs to spare as Chigumbura finished unbeaten on 52.

Zimbabwe's only previous win over the Australians was at Trent Bridge in the 1983 World Cup.

In the 30th ODI meeting between these sides, Zimbabwe did what they had not for 31 years and beat Australia. The captain Elton Chigumbura engineered the chase that changed 11,406 days of history, after his spinners had applied a stranglehold that kept Australia to their lowest total against Zimbabwe, and achieved only their second win against them.

Chigumbura's opposite number, Michael Clarke, battled a hamstring niggle to hold his side together on a spin-friendly surface, on which none of the other Australian batsmen settled. But Zimbabwe's challenge was always going to be chasing a total over 200 - they were dismissed for less in their last four ODIs - and when Nathan Lyon picked up career-best figures and they were reduced to 156 for 7, another collapse seemed likely. A 55-run stand between Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya for the eighth wicket ensured Zimbabwe did not fold and sent Harare Sports Club into frenzied celebration.

SCORES IN BRIEF
AUSTRALIA: 209 for 9 in 50 overs (Clarke 68 not out, Marsh 15, Haddin 49, Cutting 26; Utseya 2-45, Tiripano 2-34, Williams 2-21)
ZIMBABWE: 211 for 7 in 48 overs (Raza 22, Masakadza 18, Taylor 32, Chigumbura 52 not out, Utseya 30 not out; Starc 2-41, Lyon 4-44)
Result: Zimbabwe won by 3 wickets.
Player-of-the-match: Elton Chigumbura.

Published: 12:01 am Monday, September 01, 2014

Last modified: 10:18 pm Monday, September 01, 2014

TAGS: Zimbabwe Captain Elton Chigumbura Zimbabwe beat Australia Zimbabwe win

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