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World Cup 2011 – Australia vs Zimbabwe: Clinical Australia Crush Zimbabwe

By on February 21, 2011

Australia 262 for 6 (Watson 79, Clarke 58*, Mpofu 2-58) beat Zimbabwe 171 (Cremer 37, Johnson 4-19, Tait 2-34) by 91 runs…

Clinical Australia won their opening ICC Cricket World Cup encounter against a hapless Zimbabwe by 91 runs in Ahmedabad on Monday.

Regis Chakabva (6) did not last long as Jason Krejza picked up his second wicket.

Sean Williams seemed primed for a fighting innings but the number-seven batsman could not withstand the unplayable pace of Shaun Tait. He was caught by Shane Watson for 28.

Elton Chigumbura (14) became Australia’s fifth victim as the skipper edged a Krejza delivery to Brad Haddin behind stumps.

Three quick wickets had earlier pegged Zimbabwe back as they struggled against Australia’s pace attack of Lee, Johnson and Tait.

A fast and furious Johnson appealed for an LBW against Craig Irvine but the umpire denied the appeal. However, the referral showed the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps. Johnson went without troubling the scorecard.

Brendon Taylor became Australia’s third victim as Shaun Tait castled him for a promising 16.

Tatenda taibu (7) was the second wicket to fall as the diminutive wicketkeeper, attempting to guide Johnson’s delivery to the third-man region, fell in the slips.

After a promising start, Zimbabwe opener Charles Coventry fell caught and bowled to Brett Lee.

Coventry (14) seemed intent on playing a long innings until a rush of blood induced a rash attempt at playing a pull shot to a short-pitch ball from outside the off stump.

Innings break: Australia 262 for 6 in 50 overs.

Despite winning the toss at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Australia looked subdued against spinners Prosper Utseya (one for 43), Graeme Cremer (one for 41) and Ray Price (one for 43), with tight fielding adding to the pressure on the reigning champions.

Opener Watson was part of two 50-plus partnerships, with Brad Haddin, who scored a pedestrian 29 from 66 balls, and skipper Ricky Ponting, who reached 28 from 36 deliveries.

But only a 55-ball 58 from Clarke and some big hitting from the Australia tail ensured Ponting’s team would have a fighting total to defend.

Zimbabwe’s introduction of spin early on restricted Australia to just 28 after 10 overs. It almost paid quick dividends when Haddin’s mistimed pull off Utseya saw the ball hit the base of the stumps without dislodging the bails.

Haddin and Watson eased Australia’s nerves in the next over with two boundaries apiece off Chris Mpofu, but the burst was short-lived with Haddin – trapped lbw – the first World Cup batsman to be given out from a reviewed decision.

Watson reached his half-century from 69 balls and smashed a six to bring up the fifty partnership between himself and Ponting, but Zimbabwe struck twice in successive overs to heap further pressure.

First Watson was adjudged lbw off Cremer after a successful review, before Ponting was run out by a superb direct hit from Mpofu.

Australia notched up 90 runs in the last 10 overs, with Cameron White (22), David Hussey (14) and Steven Smith (11) providing valuable support to Clarke.

Source: ESPNStar

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