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Zimbabwean spinners restrict Australia to 209

Michael Clarke played a valuable knock of 68 © Getty Images (File photo)
Michael Clarke played a valuable knock of 68 © Getty Images (File photo)

By Sameer Jha

Aug 31, 2014

Zimbabwe restricted Australia to 209 runs in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) of the triangular series at Harare. Australia lost wickets in a heap early in their innings, and captain Michael Clarke watched the collapse from one end. Zimbabwe bowled with four spinners – Prosper Utseya, John Nyumbu, Sean Williams and Malcolm Waller. All four of them bowled economically, and did not allow any batsman barring Clarke to settle down for long.

Aaron Finch, who had scored a century in his previous game, lost his wicket early to John Nyumbu. Philip Hughes, George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell too didn’t hang around for much longer, and Australia were reeling at 97 for the loss of 5 wickets at one point. Mitchell Marsh, who has been given a chance to cement his place in the side, formed a valuable 40-run partnership with Clarke, before being dismissed by Donald Tiripano. After Marsh’s dismissal, Clarke and Brad Haddin combined to help the visitors recover, but they were not able to score at a brisk pace.

Clarke, who had missed Australia’s opening two games, walked out retired hurt in the 43rd over but had to come back in the last over as Australia had lost all their other wickets.

Brad Haddin, who hit some fabulous sixes towards the end of the innings, was dropped by Tendai Chatara in the 41st over. It was an easy chance that should have been taken. Ben Cutting played an impressive knock of 26. He and Haddin combined to form a quickfire 50-run partnership of 33 balls to help Australia get to a decent total.

Zimbabwe have certainly given themselves a chance of victory with their good performance with the ball. However, they’ll need to bat better than they did against South Africa in the third ODI.

Brief scores:

Australia 209 for 9 in 50 overs (Michael Clarke 68*, Brad Haddin 49; Sean Williams 2 for 21, Donald Tiripano 2 for 34) vs Zimbabwe

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