Thursday, September 13, 2007

Zimbabwe Upset Mighty Australia In World Twenty20

Cape Town: Rusty and underdone Australia were embarrassed by the so-called minnows – Zimbabwe – by five wickets in their opening ICC World Twenty20 match at the Newlands cricket stadium here on Wednesday.

Chasing 139 to win, Zimbabwe achieved the target with one ball to spare, thanks to a valiant, unbeaten 60 off 45 balls by wicket-keeper and opening batsman Brandon Taylor.

In a match marked by inconsistent batting as well as the weather, the Zimbabwean fielding and spirit conquered everyone's hearts. In a heart-stopping final over bowled by Nathan Bracken, Zimbabwe needed 12 to win, with Taylor and Elton Chigumbura at the crease.

Taylor hit the first ball for four, reducing the deficit to eight, and when the fifth ball went for four leg byes, it was mayhem.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was an angry man, and he said he was "embarrassed" by the result. "There are not many moments when I walk off the park feeling like this. If we don't learn from this, we all are fools," he thundered.

A couple of quick wickets did peg Zimbabwe back and when the rain intervened, they were actually behind the asking rate according to the Duckworth-Lewis system. However, Taylor played exemplary cricket to pull off Zimbabwe's most amazing win in recent times.

Hamilton Masakadza supported Taylor well to make 27.

Left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson bowled well for Australia , taking one wicket for 26 runs in his four overs and seamer Stuart Clark was very good, taking two for 22 in his four overs.

Earlier, the Zimbabwe bowlers, backed by their athletic and eager fielders, ran the mighty Australians ragged for most part of their 20.

Australia were restricted to 138 for nine. Brad Hodge and Andrew Symonds were the two batting heroes for Australia, with Hodge scoring an unbeaten 34 and Symonds making 33..

Ponting surprisingly chose to bat on a cloudy evening and soon paid the price. In the very first over itself, bowled by Elton Chigumbura, Matthew Hayden fell caught behind by wicket-keeper Taylor.

Hayden played an arrogant pull shot to the fence but there was surprise in store for those who thought the usual Australian dominance would kick start from there. The left-hander touched a wide delivery outside the off-stump and walked back to the pavilion.

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