Australia kicked off their Tri-Series campaign in style on Monday as they disposed of hosts Zimbabwe with minimal fuss at the Harare Sports Club.
The Aussies reached 350/6 as their 50 overs ticked by, and while Zimbabwe were always going to be up against it as they came in to bat, they barely scratched the surface.
The hosts’ haul of 152 all out gave Australia the 198-run victory that their cricket deserved courtesy of some phenomenal bowling and batting—as the scorecards show below:
|A.J. Finch||c sub b Nyumbu||67||79||5||3||84.81|
|B.J. Haddin||b Chigumbura||46||58||2||2||79.31|
|M.R. Marsh||c Butt b Chatara||89||83||7||4||107.23|
|G.J. Bailey (c)||c Utseya b Williams||14||21||1||0||66.67|
|G.J. Maxwell||c Mawoyo b Chatara||93||46||9||5||202.17|
|S.P.D. Smith||run out (Butt)||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|J.P. Faulkner||Not out||5||5||1||0||100.00|
|M.G. Johnson||Not out||20||10||2||1||200.00|
|T.M.K. Mawoyo||lbw Starc||1||6||0||0||16.67|
|S.R. Butt||c Marsh b Lyon||33||40||5||0||82.50|
|H. Masakadza||s Haddin b Smith||70||91||6||1||76.92|
|B.R.M. Taylor||c Finch b Johnson||10||14||2||0||71.43|
|E. Chigumbura (c)||c Haddin b Faulkner||0||11||0||0||0.00|
|S.C. Williams||c Maxwell b Marsh||1||4||0||0||25.00|
|R. Mutumbami||lbw Lyon||11||24||1||0||45.83|
|P. Utseya||c Starc b Smith||9||27||0||0||33.33|
|T. Panyangara||b Starc||1||9||0||0||11.11|
|J. Nyumbu||c Faulkner b Smith||1||6||0||0||16.67|
|T.L. Chatara||Not out||6||5||1||0||120.00|
Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell Fire Aussies to Glory
While openers Aaron Finch and Brad Haddin had a good time at the crease to kick off Australia’s innings, firing 67 and 46 respectively, it wasn’t until the No. 3 Mitchell Marsh and No. 5 Glenn Maxwell came in that the party got started.
The pair looked absolutely indestructible as a partnership, as boundaries galore saw them rack up a phenomenal total between them, per ESPNcricinfo:
The MnM show ends. Maxwell and Marsh added 109 in 54 balls. This is how they saw the ball during that stand. pic.twitter.com/Eqe50S90dq— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) August 25, 2014
A blistering 109-run haul from the pair in just nine overs was enough to see Australia take a firm grip on the match, with their 350 total the biggest that the Harare Sports Club has ever seen in an ODI, according to Firdose Moonda of ESPNcricinfo.
Marsh was promoted to No. 3 in Australia’s batting order after skipper Michael Clarke withdrew through injury. He certainly filled the captain’s shoes with a dynamic display of batting, chalking up 89 runs from 83 balls.
And if that haul was something special, then words simply haven’t been invented to describe the knock that Maxwell put together.
Forty-six balls saw the 25-year-old rack up an extraordinary total of 93 before his untimely dismissal, recalling the days that made him a star of the Indian Premier League earlier this year.
Every time he was on strike, you got the sense that something special was about to happen, leaving fellow star Shane Watson to label his innings “freakish”:
Tendai Chatara took both Marsh's and Maxwell’s wickets on Monday, but the damage was well and truly done, as Zimbabwe came into their innings without a will or a way.
Hamilton Masakadza delayed the inevitable Aussie party with a knock of 70, but after Haddin stumped him, the game was over.
Masakadza has shown tremendous form in ODIs lately, per ESPNcricinfo’s Firdose Moonda, but once again he was unable to cross the century mark:
As for his Zimbabwe teammates, the majority of them were unable to cross the double-figures mark, with five batsmen going for totals of one or less.
Australia will have looked at Monday’s clash as a tune-up fixture for Wednesday’s showdown with South Africa, and the way that they performed in all areas will bring them endless encouragement.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe have to wait until Friday to be back in action, and there needs to be some hard work put in at the training ground between Monday and then, or the Tri-Series will simply pass them by.