Flower power helps Zimbabwe score 240 for eight

Published: Sunday, March 17, 2002, 0:48 [IST]
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Hyderabad: Andy Flower slammed an impressive 89 as Zimbabwe posted 240 for eight in the fourth One-day International against India at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium on Saturday.The prolific left-hander pulled Zimbabwe out of trouble with his 48th half-century in One-day Internationals, adding 66 for the third wicket with opener Dion Ebrahim (38) and 96 for the next with his brother, Grant (44). The tourists, leading 2-1 in the five-match series, were struggling at 13 for two in the fourth over after electing to bat in the day-night match. Andy Flower, who missed the previous match at Cochin due to a hip muscle strain, came to his team's rescue as he reverse-swept brilliantly against debutant spinner Murali Kartik to score his second fifty of the series.

He struck six fours in his 107-ball knock before edging left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan to wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra in the 43rd over. India, however, bowled tight in the closing overs to prevent Zimbabwe from crossing the 250-mark despite a brisk 33-ball 40 by skipper Stuart Carlisle. Seamer Ajit Agarkar was the most successful bowler, finishing with four for 32 off 10 overs. He was well supported by Zaheer (two for 58). The Flower brothers succeeded in thwarting the Indians after their team had lost two quick wickets in early overs. Agarkar troubled the Zimbabwean batsmen with pace and bounce, dismissing in-form Alistair Campbell for three and pinch-hitter Travis Friend for nought in his second over. Left-handed Campbell was surprised by the bounce of an Agarkar delivery, edging it to first-slip Rahul Dravid.

This was his first failure in the series after having slammed three successive half-centuries. Zimbabwe lost its second wicket at the same total (13) when Friend was caught behind off his gloves two balls later while trying to hook the seamer. Ebrahim provided valuable support to Andy Flower, but not before surviving anxious moments against the Indian fast bowlers. The opener, who scored just 14 in the last three matches, had a confident appeal for a catch in the slips turned down by the third umpire in the first over of the match bowled by Zaheer. He hardly looked at his best during his highest knock of the series as he fell trying to sweep a slower one from Saurav Ganguly to Dravid at mid-wicket.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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