Australia suffer shock ODI defeat to Zimbabwe

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Football News

Zimbabwe produced a monumental shock as they beat Australia by three wickets in their triangular one-day series clash in Harare.

Zimbabwe's victory, inspired by a half-century from captain Alton Chigumbura, was their first victory over Australia in a 50-over international since their first clash in the 1983 World Cup.

Since then, Zimbabwe had only ever beaten Australia in a T20 international at the 2007 World Cup.

Batting recovery

After winning the toss and electing to bat first the Australians stumbled to 97-5 but Michael Clarke (68) and Brad Haddin (49) recovered the innings with a partnership of 50 until Clarke had to retire hurt.

Haddin also posted a fifty partnership with number 10 Ben Cutting (26) to give the Australians final score of 209-9 a touch of respectability. Clarke did return for the final two balls of the innings to ensure that the Aussies used their full 50 overs.

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Sean Williams (2-21), Donald Tiripano (2-34) and Prosper Utseya (2-45) were the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers.

Zimbabwe will have been confident that they stood a chance of victory but the Australians fought back as they reduced their hosts to 106-5 in reply. Zimbabwe must have thought their chance had gone as Nathan Lyon captured four of the wickets to fall.

Skipper's key knock

However, captain Elton Chigumbura (52) had other ideas. With his side on 156-7 he found a willing partner in Utseya (32) who helped guide the home side to a memorable victory with two overs remaining.

Australia's misery was further compounded by Michael Clarke's hamstring injury which means the Aussie captain will return home early from the tournament.

This was the fourth game of the triangular series between Zimbabwe, Australia and South Africa. Currently unbeaten South Africa lead the way with two victories from two games whilst both Australia and Zimbabwe have won one game and lost two so far.

World Cup boost

Whilst Zimbabwe are not expected to win the tri-series they will hope to improve their ODI performances against top-class opposition. This victory will certainly help cricket in the country and also give the national side a huge boost ahead of next year's World Cup.

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ODI World Cup
Australia cricket
T20 World Cup
Michael Clarke

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