Tri-series 2018: Australia Prevails over Zimbabwe to Seal Finale Berth with Pakistan
Australia held their nerves at the end after a daunting partnership from Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head to walk past Zimbabwe’s target ahead of the Sunday’s final against Pakistan.
Zimbabwe skipper Hamilton Masakadza won the toss and elected to bat first in a dead rubber. They made two changes for their final match of this series, with Donald Tiripano and debutant legspinner, Brandon Mavuta coming into the side, replacing Chris Mpofu and Tendai Chisoro.
However, it was Billy Stanlake, who drew the first blood on the first ball removing Cephas Zhuwao. The tall and lanky pacer had done a commendable job in the absence of the first tier pacers. He bowled some tight line and lengths, and the openers found it hard to get going.
In-form Solomon Mire took the onus on himself to take his out of danger. In the meantime, the hosts lost their skipper and were reeling at 21 for two in the fourth over. Zimbabwe lost Tarisai Musakanda in the last over of the powerplays and looked in a spot of bother.
Since then, Peter Moor and Mire tried to steady the ship, building on a long partnership. The duo managed to find the gaps and the odd boundaries kept coming in. The pair added 68 runs before Moor (30) departed in the sixteenth over. Mire, at last, broke the shackle, as he took the total over the 150-run mark.
Andrew Tye picked back to back wickets in the middle-over, as they managed to post a moderate 151 runs on the board.
What looked a cakewalk for the Aussies, became tough, as they lost both their openers within fifth over.
However, a timely partnership from Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head took them close to the target. The right-left added 103 runs, as Zimbabwe failed to make inroads.
Meanwhile, the game shifted gears at the fag end, as the Aussies lost three wickets including the set batsmen. However, Marcus Stoinis took them home remaining unbeaten on 12 runs.
Blessing Muzarabani tried to shake the visitor’s innings, but the target seemed too small against a potent batting line-up. As a result, Australia and Pakistan will face each other in the final as decided on July 8 (Sunday).
Brief Score: Zimbabwe 151/9 (Mire 63, Tye 3/28) lost to Australia 154/5 (Maxwell 56, Muzarabani 3/21) by five wickets.
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