Aus trounce Zim by 91 runs

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Published: Monday, February 21, 2011, 21:33 [IST]
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Aus trounce Zim by 91 runs

Australia had no problems defending their total of 262/6 as their pace battery demolished the top order of the Zimbabwe line-up, reducing the Africans to 44/4 in 12.3 overs. It was a situation from which the Zimbabweans could not recover as they were bowled out for 171 in 46.2 overs.

Graeme Cremer top-scored for his side with 35 and put on a partnership with Proper Utseya (24) of nearly 50, but that minimal and late effort went entirely in vain. Mitchell Johnson picked up four wickets, Shaun Tait and Jason Krezja took two wickets each while Brett Lee and Hussey got one a piece.

Zimbabwe surprisingly, got off to a positive start in their chase of Australia's 262/6. Opener Charles Coventry struck the first four of the innings, off Lee in the second over. When Lee returned in the 4th over, he unleashed a powerful cut shot for six as Zimbabawe moved to 21/0 in 4 overs.

But as is his wont, the paceman came back to dismiss the same batsman with a bouncer which the latter skied into the palms of the bowler himself. Conventry was on his way for 14 off 24 and Zimbabwe were 22/1 in 5.4 overs, as Tatenda Taibu walked out to the middle.

Taibu settled in by striking Lee for a boundary in the 10th over, but in the next, he was undone by an away-swinger from Mitchell Johnson which picked up his edge through to Cameron White in the slips. Taibu was out for 7 off 17 balls and Zimbabwe were 40/2 in 10.3 overs.

Taylor was the next to depart, getting bowled by Tait for 16 off 24, before Johnson trapped Erwine in front for a duck. The umpire initially gave Erwine not out, but the Umpire Review which Ponting promptly called for, over-ruled him. Zimbabwe were suddenly 44/4 in 12.3 overs.

Then captain Elton Chigumbura counter-attacked by glancing Tait for a fine-leg four and then swatting him past extra cover for another boundary as Zimbabwe moved onto 54/4 in 14 overs. Williams and Chigumbura desperately tried to strike up a partnership.

In the 18th over, Williams lofted off-spinner Jason Krezja for a six as Zimbabwe progressed to 72/4 in 18 overs. But the bowler got his revenge when he had Chigumbura caught by the wicket-keeper in the 22nd over. Zimbabwe were deeper in trouble at 88/5. But the slide only continued with Tait getting Willaims caught in the slips for 28 off 40. The Africans were in dire straits at 96/6 in 25 overs.

Krejza then took his second scalp when he trapped Regis Chakabva for 6 off 18 balls as Zimbabwe slid to 104/7 in 27.2 overs. In the 39th over, Utaeya and Cremer teamed up to take a four each off Tait as the score moved past 150. But soon afterward, Utseya got out when he pushed a delivery from David Hussey straight to Ricky Ponting at short mid-wicket.

Just a couple of overs later, Cremer was caught behind off Johnson and Zimbabwe had reached the bottom of the barrel at 167/9 in 42.5 overs.

Oneindia Cricket

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