HISTORIC: Zimbabwe stuns full-strength Australia by 3 wickets
Zimbabwe stunned a nearly full-strength Australia by three wickets on Saturday to claim a historic victory in the third ODI in Townsville.
The southern African country bowled out Australia for the first time in ODIs and the eventual triumph fuelled their bid to climb the Super League log, which goes towards qualification for next year’s 50-over World Cup in India.
It was the first time Zimbabwe beat Australia in its backyard.
After leg-spinner Ryan Burl (5-10) played a starring role in dismissing the hosts for a lowly 141, Zimbabwe overcame a wobbly chase to beat the cricket powerhouse for the first time in Australia when they hauled in the target in the 39th over, triggering scenes of celebration.
It was a consolation victory for Zimbabwe to conclude the three-match series.
“We showed a whole lot of fight … it was a testament to the work the boys put in,” said Zimbabwe captain Regis Chakabva, who top-scored with a composed 37*.
Australia captain Aaron Finch lauded Zimbabwe for the historic win.
“You turn up to international sport and you can get beaten on any day, and we saw that today,” said Finch. “They were relentless with the ball early on.”
In their first series in Australia since 2004, Zimbabwe struggled to be competitive in the opening two matches at the same venue and were routed for just 96 on Wednesday.
After Zimbabwe’s probing seamers tore through Australia’s top order, an inspired Burl claimed five wickets in a whirlwind 18 balls starting with the key scalp of Glenn Maxwell, who helped rebuild the innings with a half-century partnership alongside Warner.