Australia struggle against Zimbabwe

Published: Thursday, September 13, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Tournament favourites Australia collapsed against the minnows of Zimbabwe in their World Twenty20 match at Newlands Wednesday.

The World Cup and Test champions limped to 138 for nine in their 20 overs after choosing to bat on a slow pitch.

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.

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 19 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 as they went for their shots before playing themselves in.

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

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