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Australia crash against Zimbabwe

Published: Thursday, September 13, 2007, 1:38 [IST]
 
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Minnows Zimbabwe upset tournament favourites Australia in the first shock of the World Twenty20 championships at Newlands on Wednesday.

Opening batsman Brendan Taylor guided Zimbabwe to a five-wicket win after Australia limped to 138 for nine in their 20 overs after choosing to bat on a slow pitch.

Vusi Sibanda opened Zimbabwe's reply with a blaze of strokes and when rain started to fall after seven overs Zimbabwe were ahead on the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Tight bowling by Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson pulled Australia back and Zimbabwe lost crucial wickets before rain stopped play with Zimbabwe on 74 for four after 11.5 overs. At that stage Australia were five runs ahead on the calculations.

Taylor slammed two big sixes off part-time spinner Brad Hodge as Zimbabwe went into the last five overs needing only 37 to win.

Brett Lee trapped Hamilton Masakadza leg before for 27 after he and Taylor put on 53 for the fifth wicket.

Lee and Nathan Bracken bowled tightly and it seemed Zimbabwe might have missed their chance as they needed 12 off the last over.

A leg glance for four by Taylor off the first ball and four leg byes off the fifth ball got Zimbabwe home with a ball to spare.

The Australians paid the penalty for trying to attack from the start of their innings, losing their all-star top three of Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and captain Ricky Ponting for 19 runs inside the first four overs. All fell to rash strokes.

Andrew Symonds (33) and Brad Hodge (35 not out) led a partial recovery but Australia were unable to dominate against Zimbabwe's assortment of medium-pace and slow bowlers.

Elton Chigumbura took three for 20 and fellow new ball bowler Gary Brent claimed two for 19.

Ponting became the first captain in the tournament to choose to bat despite the likelihood that the pitch might be tricky on an overcast day.

Hayden slammed the first ball he faced from Chigumbura for four but then slashed at the next to be caught behind. Gilchrist and Ponting both were caught in the deep.

Symonds and Mike Hussey put on 29 before Hussey was run out by a direct hit by Sibanda from point. Symonds and Hodge added 38 before Symonds lost his balance against Hamilton Masakadza and was stumped by Brendan Taylor.

Brett Lee bowled two wides at the start of the Zimbabwe innings before Sibanda edged him for four in an over which cost eight runs.

Sibanda hit two handsome drives for four off both Nathan Bracken and Lee. He made 23 off 15 balls before edging Bracken to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.

Final

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