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Zimbabwe shock Australia
September 13, 2007 01:56 IST
Zimbabwe caused the first and what could be the biggest upset of the Twenty20 World Cup, when they beat Australia by five wickets in a Group B match in Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday.
After restricting the One-Day International World champions to 138-9, the Zimbabweans, powered by an unbeaten 60 off 45 balls from Brendon Taylor, hit up the required runs without much difficulty, finishing with a ball to spare.
Needing four runs from the last two deliveries, the Africans were home thanks to four byes off the fifth ball of the over bowled by Nathan Bracken [Images].
Man of the match Taylor put on 31 runs for the opening wicket with Vusi Sibanda (23) and then added 50 runs in a fifth-wicket partnership with Hamilton Masakadza (27).
Australia appeared to turn things around after Zimbabwe suffered a minor mid-innings collapse when Chamu Chibhabha (15), Tatenda Taibu (0) and Stuart Matsikenyeri (3) departed in quick succession. But Taylor held firm to guide the team to a memorable victory.
The wicketkeeper's innings was studded with four hits to the fence and a couple of sixes.
The cliffhanger could have gone either way as heavens opened up with Zimbabwe at 74 for 4, giving Australia hopes of victory via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Earlier, fine medium pace bowling by Elton Chigumbura, who picked three wickets, and some smart fielding saw the minnows of cricket restrict the Aussies.
Electing to bat under overcast conditions, the ODI World champions lost wickets at regular intervals after a top-order collapse.
The Zimbabweans, on the other hand, put up an inspired performance to give themselves a chance of an upset win.
After a rain-delayed the start by a few minutes, Australia's openers Adam Gilchrist [Images] and Matthew Hayden [Images] departed in quick succession on a seaming track. Both the batsmen scored just four runs each before leaving the Aussies reeling at 12 for 2.
While Hayden edged a Chigumbara delivery to wicketkeeper Brendon Taylor, Gilchrist holed out to Stuart Matsikenyeri while attempting a pull off the same bowler.
Skipper Ricky Ponting [Images] (8) followed the duo back to the pavilion soon after offering an easy catch to Chigumbura while trying to swing Gary Brent.
Andrew Symonds [Images] and Mike Hussey then steadied the innings for a while but disaster struck soon as the latter was run-out at 15.
A moment of indecision from Hussey was all that Vusi Sibanda needed, as he dived full stretch to hit the stumps directly with the Aussie left-hander fell just short of his crease.
Symonds (33) could not stay for long either as Taylor displayed some excellent glove work to stump the right-hander and end his brief partnership with Brad Haddin (6).
The Aussie scorecard read 102 for six with just 3.4 overs remaining before Brad Hodge's unbeaten 35, which included two fours and a couple of sixes, and pace spearhead Brett Lee's [Images] 12 of seven balls helped the world champions to 138 for nine.