Elton Chigumbura played a captain’s innings scoring 55 not out to guide his side to a three wicket victory over Australia in the fourth match of the Zimbabwean Triangular Series also featuring South Africa in Harare on Sunday. After winning the toss and choosing to bat the Australian openers Aaron Finch and Phillip Hughes put on an 11 run partnership before the centurion from the previous two matches Finch was dismissed by John Nyumbu (1/30) of 11. Skipper Michael Clarke joined Hughes and took their side to 35/1 before Hughes (10) edged one from Prosper Utseya (2/45) to Nyumbu in the slips.
George Bailey was next to the crease however he only managed one run before he was clean bowled by Sean Williams (2/21) as the Baggy Greens found themselves on 39/2. The big-hitting Glen Maxwell played a few shots before he departed for 13 with his side in a spot of bother on 57/4. Mitchell Marsh scored 15 runs before he too departed.
Brad Haddin and his skipper scored 16 runs in the batting powerplay to get them to an eventual score of 127/5 before Clarke retired hurt on 68 not out. James Faulkner was next to the crease and was dismissed for a duck with the men from Down Under in some serious trouble on 147/6. The wickets of Mitchell Starc (3), Ben Cutting (26) and Haddin (49) fell as Australia finished on 209/9 in their fifty overs recording their lowest ODI score against Zimbabwe.
In reply the home openers Sikandar Raza and Tino Mawoyo put on a 42 run partnership before Raza was dismissed by Nathan Lyons (4/44) for 22. Hamilton Masakadza joined Mawoyo at the crease adding a further two runs before Mawoyo was castled by Lyon with his side on 44/2. Brendan Taylor and Masakadza put on a 56 run partnership to bring up their team’s 100 before the latter departed for 18 closely followed by Taylor for 32 as the hosts found themselves on 102/4.
Sean Williams and Malcom Waller departed for four and 11 respectively as the Zimbabweans slumped to 142/6. Daniel Tiripano and skipper Chigumbura were the new men at the crease and together took their side beyond the 150 mark before Tirpano was clean bowled by Starc (2/41) with his side staring down the barrel of another possible defeat on 156/7, requiring a further 55 runs to win.
However Utseya (30 not out) joined his skipper and put on an heroic unbeaten 55 run partnership with Chigumbura (55 not out) as they led their side home for a memorable victory over the Australians as they ran out winners by three wickets with two overs to spare. The man of the match award went to Chigumbura for his match winning innings of 55 not out which led the hosts to their first win over the Australians since the 1983 Cricket World Cup.