T20I Tri-Series, ZIM vs AUS – Australia Clinch Nail-Biting Thriller Despite Hosts’ Valiant Fight
Australia continued their winning run in the T20I tri-nation series, as they defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets and with a delivery to spare.
Zimbabwe gave the Aussies a scare, courtesy of their impressive bowling performance. However, in the end, Australia held their nerves and completed a nerve-wracking victory. Andrew Tye and Glenn Maxwell were the top performers for Australia.
It was Zimbabwe skipper, Hamilton Masakadza who won the toss and opted to bat. Zimbabwe lost Cephas Zhuwao on the very first delivery of the match, as Billy Stanlake induced an age from the outside edge of his bat. Maskadza and Tarisai Musakanda also feel in quick succession as Zimbabwe reduced to 44/3.
The story of the match
There was an impressive 68-run partnership between Solomon Mire and Peter Moor which got Zimbabwe back on track. Both looked in good touch and struck some wonderful shots in the process.
Andrew Tye bowled a sensational final spell and ended up bagging three wickets. It was an impressive comeback by the Aussie bowlers, as they managed to restrict Zimbabwe to 151 in their allotted 20 overs.
Mire was the top scorer for Zimbabwe with a score of 63 off 50 deliveries which included five fours and a couple of sixes. While Tye finished with three wickets, Stanlake and Jhye Richardson returned with a couple each.
The target of 152 was never going to be enough for the Aussies. However, the Zimbabwe bowlers gave a valiant effort and took the match to the wire.
The visitors lost Aaron Finch and Alex Carey early on. However, the partnership between Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head helped them claw their way back into the game. The duo shared a 103-run stand which almost sealed the match for the visitors.
Maxwell scored a brilliant 56 off 38 deliveries which included four and five sixes. Head, on the other hand, chipped in with a well composed 48.
The Zimbabwe bowlers bagged three crucial wickets towards the fag end of the innings to help Zimbabwe claw their way back into the game. However, it was Marcu Stoinis and Ashton Agar who stayed put till the end and ensured Australia reached the target in the final over with a delivery to spare.
Zimbabwe 151/9 in 20 overs (Solomon Mire 63, Andrew Tye 3/28)
Australia 154/5 in 19.5 overs (Glenn Maxwell 56, Blessing Muzarabani 3/21)
Australia won by five wickets (with a delivery to spare)