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Chevrons crash to heaviest T20 defeat

A DOUBLE century opening partnership, and a record Twenty20 international score of 172 by Australia captain Aaron Finch, powered Australia to a comprehensive 100-run victory in the third match of the T20 Tri-series at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

It was also Zimbabwe’s heaviest defeat in Twenty20I.

Zimbabwe only appeared to be competing on even terms with Australia at the start of their reply, with some spirited batting from their top order, the top five batsmen all looking good briefly, but none of them stayed to play the major innings needed.

Remarkably, this was only the second time Zimbabwe has played Australia in a T20I match, the previous occasion being back in 2007 — which the Chevrons won in South Africa. Zimbabwe won the toss and put Australia to bat on a pitch that looked generally good for batting, but with a few darker patches.

Chris Mpofu came in for the injured Kyle Jarvis, while Australia played an unchanged team from that which crushed Pakistan on Monday.

John Nyumbu and Blessing Muzarabani opened the bowling to Finch and D’Arcy Short, who had little difficulty from the start in picking up ones and twos, together with boundaries off selected deliveries.

In the third over Finch hit Nyumbu for three successive fours, although the third one, in the air, was just out of reach of the extra-cover fielder.

Finch was letting fly at everything, the team fifty coming up in the fifth over, and the following over the skipper brought up his own fifty off only 22 balls, with a high six over midwicket off Mpofu. The team hundred came up in the 10th over, by which time Finch had reached 75 and was battering almost all the bowlers virtually at will.

The exception was Tendai Chisoro, who bowled his four overs with superb guile and accuracy for only 19 runs, and did not concede a boundary until his penultimate delivery, when Finch stepped right back and hit the ball over long-off for six to take him to 98.

In the next over Finch reached his century off 50 balls, at the end of 14 overs, with the score on 143.

His own personal next target was his own record individual T20I score of 156, scored against England in 2013.

The score raced past the previous record opening partnership in T20Is, 171, which had been held by New Zealand.

The team 200 came up after 18 overs, followed by Finch’s 150 off 69 balls, followed by a flat-batted swat over extra cover for six two balls later to break his own record. The partnership was finally broken in the last over, as Short, attempting a big hit for his own fifty, sent up a big skyer off Muzarabani that was well held by the wicketkeeper PJ Moor. The partnership ended at 223, with Short having faced 42 balls for his 46.

With two balls left, Finch’s amazing innings ended in bizarre fashion, as he chased a wide ball from Muzarabani outside his off stump, overbalanced and hit his wicket. His final score was 172, scored off 76 balls with 16 fours and 10 sixes, while the innings ended at 229 for two wickets. One small relief for Zimbabwe was that this was not even an Australian record for the highest T20I total — there have been 14 higher totals, the best of which was 263 for three by Australia against Sri Lanka in 2016.

It was, however, the highest total conceded by Zimbabwe in this format, beating 215 for six by Afghanistan in 2016.

Scores

Australia – 229-2 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 172, D’Arcy Short 46; Blessing Muzarabani 2/38)

Zimbabwe – 129-9 in 20 overs (Solomon Mire 28, PJ Moor 19, Chamu Chibhabha 18; Andrew Tye 3/12, Ashton Agar 2/16)

Australia won by 100 runs. — Zimcricket.

It was also Zimbabwe’s heaviest defeat in Twenty20I.

Zimbabwe only appeared to be competing on even terms with Australia at the start of their reply, with some spirited batting from their top order, the top five batsmen all looking good briefly, but none of them stayed to play the major innings needed.

Remarkably, this was only the second time Zimbabwe has played Australia in a T20I match, the previous occasion being back in 2007 — which the Chevrons won in South Africa. Zimbabwe won the toss and put Australia to bat on a pitch that looked generally good for batting, but with a few darker patches.

Chris Mpofu came in for the injured Kyle Jarvis, while Australia played an unchanged team from that which crushed Pakistan on Monday.

John Nyumbu and Blessing Muzarabani opened the bowling to Finch and D’Arcy Short, who had little difficulty from the start in picking up ones and twos, together with boundaries off selected deliveries.

In the third over Finch hit Nyumbu for three successive fours, although the third one, in the air, was just out of reach of the extra-cover fielder.

Finch was letting fly at everything, the team fifty coming up in the fifth over, and the following over the skipper brought up his own fifty off only 22 balls, with a high six over midwicket off Mpofu. The team hundred came up in the 10th over, by which time Finch had reached 75 and was battering almost all the bowlers virtually at will.

The exception was Tendai Chisoro, who bowled his four overs with superb guile and accuracy for only 19 runs, and did not concede a boundary until his penultimate delivery, when Finch stepped right back and hit the ball over long-off for six to take him to 98.

In the next over Finch reached his century off 50 balls, at the end of 14 overs, with the score on 143.

His own personal next target was his own record individual T20I score of 156, scored against England in 2013.

The score raced past the previous record opening partnership in T20Is, 171, which had been held by New Zealand.

The team 200 came up after 18 overs, followed by Finch’s 150 off 69 balls, followed by a flat-batted swat over extra cover for six two balls later to break his own record. The partnership was finally broken in the last over, as Short, attempting a big hit for his own fifty, sent up a big skyer off Muzarabani that was well held by the wicketkeeper PJ Moor. The partnership ended at 223, with Short having faced 42 balls for his 46.

With two balls left, Finch’s amazing innings ended in bizarre fashion, as he chased a wide ball from Muzarabani outside his off stump, overbalanced and hit his wicket. His final score was 172, scored off 76 balls with 16 fours and 10 sixes, while the innings ended at 229 for two wickets. One small relief for Zimbabwe was that this was not even an Australian record for the highest T20I total — there have been 14 higher totals, the best of which was 263 for three by Australia against Sri Lanka in 2016.

It was, however, the highest total conceded by Zimbabwe in this format, beating 215 for six by Afghanistan in 2016.

Scores

Australia – 229-2 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 172, D’Arcy Short 46; Blessing Muzarabani 2/38)

Zimbabwe – 129-9 in 20 overs (Solomon Mire 28, PJ Moor 19, Chamu Chibhabha 18; Andrew Tye 3/12, Ashton Agar 2/16)

Australia won by 100 runs. — Zimcricket.

Source :

The Herald

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