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Mitchell Starc (centre) rattled the Zimbabwean batsmen © AFP

By Rajarshi Majumdar

Aug 25, 2014

Australia have comfortably won the first One-Day International (ODI) of the tri-series against Zimbabwe by 198 runs at the Harare Sports Club on Monday. Zimbabwe were set a huge target of 351 runs in their 50 overs. Zimbabwe batsmen struggled right from the beginning. Australian batsmen did not give any room whatsoever. Their fielding was right on the money from the very first over. Zimbabwe kept losing their wicktets at regular intervals. It was only Hamilton Masakadza and Sikandar Raza who managed to score. Apart from these two, the experienced lot also failed. Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams and Elton Chigumbura all of them got out cheaply. Australia were not troubled at any point throughout this match and thereby winning it by a huge margin.

Hamilton Masakadza scored 70 runs from 89 balls. It was a well placed innings but it went in vain as he did not get any support from the other end. His fellowmates kept throwing their respective wickets away. Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc bowled with some fiery pace upfront. Later, Kane Richardson and James Faulkner joined the party. Steve Smith also picked up three wickets. Mitchell Marsh produced one of his best ODI performances till date.

Earlier in the day, Glenn Maxwell smashed a quick-fire 93 runs from 46 balls and Mitchell Marsh‘s innings of 89 runs helped Australia to set a daunting target of 350 runs against Zimbabwe in the first One-Day International (ODI) of the tri-series at Harare Sports Club. Australia started off slowly as the Zimbabwean bowlers gave nothing away. And ever since then, the bowlers were not allowed to settle down. The Zimbabwean skipper Elton Chigumbura was forced to try different things at a regular intervals but nothing worked for him.

The Zimbabwean bowlers bowled well initially and the mid-innings overs. But they were all over the place while Marsh and Maxwell launched an attack on them. Too many length balls were easily converted into sixes by these Aussie batsmen. Australian batsmen hit 15 sixes in all in their innings. Prosper Utseya was the pick of the bowlers. He gave away only 44 runs in his 10 overs but unfortunately he did not get a wicket. All the other bowlers were taken apart by Australia.

This was Australia’s highest total against Zimbabwe in ODIs. It was never goin to be easy against the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner and Kane Richardson.

Brief scores:

Australia 350 for 6 in 50 overs (Aaron Finch 67, Mitchell Marsh 89, Glenn Maxwell 93; Tendai Chatara 2 for 77, Sean Williams 1 for 59) beat Zimbabwe 152 (Sikandar Raza 33, Hamilton Masakadza 70; Mitchell Starc 2 for 23, Nathan Lyon 2 for 42, Steven Smith 3 for 16) by 198 runs.

Man of the match: Mitchell Marsh

Full Scorecard

(Rajarshi Majumdar is a reporter at CricketCountry. He played cricket for all age levels under the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for over 12 years. Apart from cricket he is an avid follower of football, supports Manchester United and a foodie at heart.)

Complete coverage of Zimbabwe Tri-Series 2014