They did it in 2007 (T20 World Cup) and have done it again! Minnows Zimbabwe has recorded history after 31 long years to beat former world champions Australia by three wickets.
They did it in 2007 (T20 World Cup) and have done it again! Minnows Zimbabwe has recorded history after 31 long years to beat former world champions Australia by three wickets in an ODI triangular series match at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
Ex-captain Elton Chigumbura and the current skipper Prosper Utseya held their nerves to sent the home crowd into raptures as Australia were ashamed yet again. (Remember Bangladesh!)
Chigumbura carried the hosts to 211-7 on a tough batting strip against the might of Mitchell Starc and company. It was Zimbabwe’s first win over the currently top-ranked Australians since they met in ODIs for the first time at the 1983 World Cup.
Zimbabwe sealed the win with two overs to spare but at one time was reeling at 156/7 but a fighting spirit from the players sparked rare celebrations amongst the crowds who had witnessed some poor performances off late from the home side. Utseya sealed the victory with a six whose 30 came off just 28 balls to help carry onto a famous win. Most of the hosts’ triumph was built on its superb spin bowling effort against the mighty Australian batsmen who struggled on a slow, turning pitch.
For the Aussies, it was their skipper Michael Clarke who hit a half-century in his first international in six months. But soon after, the skipper retired hurt just as Australia appeared to be slowly recovering from a poor start.
Oz were reeling at 97-5 after Zimbabwe’s spinners struck early and quickly, but thanks to a gutsy effort from Clarke, who built on a 50-run stand with wicket-keeper batsman Brad Haddin as they got the visitors to some sort of parity score. Haddin was supported by Ben Cutting down the order but the former world champions did not have enough runs on the board even with offspinner Nathan Lyon pulling off a 4-44.
Bad news for Australia continued as it was announced that their skipper Clarke has re-injured his hamstring in only his country’s second loss ever to the southern African team and will be leaving the triangular tournament to return home for treatment.
But on a day when cricket finally won, Zimbabwe truly showed why deserve to be counted as a cricketing nation even after putting up a dismal show in the earlier half of the series. Utseya recorded a hattrick in the game against South Africa and followed it up with a win against the mighty Oz which will be remembered for years to come!