Zimbabwe pulled off one of the biggest ODI upsets in recent memory, shocking Australia with a three-wicket win after Ryan Burl’s maiden five-wicket haul, on a history-making day that also saw Mitchell Starc set a new world record.
After being outclassed in the opening two matches, losing by five wickets and by eight wickets, Zimbabwe’s response in the third Dettol ODI was emphatic with the ball, bowling out the hosts for 141.
It was Australia’s lowest-ever score against Zimbabwe and the first time in 33 ODIs that the Chevrons had claimed all 10 Aussie wickets in the format.
Josh Hazlewood did all he could to bail Australia out with 3-30, and Starc became the fastest man to reach 200 ODI wickets and eclipse a 23-year-old benchmark, but Regis Chakabva (37no off 72 balls) guided Zimbabwe to a famous victory in a nervy chase.Warner in a class of his own with attacking 94
The tourists’ captain Chakabva won the toss for the first time this series and gave his side first crack with the ball, much to the delight of the healthy crowd at Riverway Stadium.
However, the spectators would’ve expected a mountain of runs from the men in yellow and not regular wickets from pace bowlers Richard Ngavara, Victor Nyauchi and Brad Evans.
On the same pitch as was used for the first two matches, Zimbabwe found just enough seam movement to trouble Australia’s high-profile top order.
But it was leg-spinner Burl who did most of the damage, claiming a career-best 5-10 from three overs.Evans delivers Zimbabwe a famous ODI victory
He was the sixth bowler called upon by Chakabva and it proved to be a masterstroke from the visiting skipper.
At 5-129, the partnership between David Warner and Glenn Maxwell had passed 50 (off only 40 balls) and threatened to take the game away from Zimbabwe when Burl was brought into the attack.
With his fourth ball, the leg-spinner floated an 82.3kph delivery onto leg stump which Maxwell couldn’t resist, with the allrounder skying a catch that Burl gratefully snapped up.
Two balls later, Ashton Agar hit a full toss straight to mid-wicket to leave Australia 7-129.Smith shoulders arms in horror lbw dismissal
Warner had played brilliantly for his 94 off 96 balls and batted with an ease none of his teammates could find.
He smoked 14 fours and two large sixes to keep Australia’s innings from falling apart all together.
But even he fell victim to Burl when he attempted to bring up his century with a six, caught in the deep by a juggling Evans.
Warner scored 66.7 per cent of his side’s runs, the second-highest percentage of a completed innings in men’s ODI history.Burl stuns Australia with rapid five-wicket haul
The scorecard made for tough reading for the Australians, with only Warner and Maxwell (19) making double figures.
Australia lost 5-12 as Burl ran through the lower order, bowling Starc (2) and getting Josh Hazlewood (0) caught behind after a review.
Heading into the series, Burl had taken nine ODI wickets from 31 matches, but together with his 3-60 from the first match, he nearly doubled his wickets tally with 10 overs in Townsville.
Zimbabwe came out after the lunch break in an attack mood with opener Takudzwanashe Kaitano (brought in for Innocent Kaia) hitting a string of boundaries off the quicks.
But Hazlewood had other ideas, taking three wickets in eight balls to give Australia hope.
Kaitano (19 off 25), Wessly Madhevere (2) and Sean Williams (first-ball duck) were all undone by the pace and guile of Hazlewood, who has bowled well without getting the rewards all series.
The wickets continued for Australia with Sikandar Raza (8 off 19) falling victim to the pull shot for the third consecutive innings, caught off the bowling of an elated Marcus Stoinis.
As Zimbabwe looked to stabilise following Tadiwanashe Marumani’s wicket, Munyonga was given a chance by Aaron Finch at slip on seven.
Munyonga only added another 10 runs but together with Chakbva, the pair rode their luck in a slow but vital partnership of 38 runs.
With five runs required for the victory, Mitch Starc grabbed his 200th ODI wicket, becoming the fastest player ever to the milestone as Burl hit an easy catch to Cameron Green at mid-off.
But a punch through the covers from Evans sealed the unforgettable win with 66 balls remaining.
Earlier, Australia’s innings got off to a horror start, losing three wickets in the first nine overs.
Finch was out to left-armer Ngavara for the third time this series, while caught by Burl at second slip.
That was followed by returning quick Nyauchi trapped Steve Smith lbw, with the star batter letting the ball cannon into his pads and then review in a bizarre sequence of events.
Carey took the aggressive approach but it backfired as he was caught behind off the bowling of Evans.
Australia squad: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Zimbabwe squad: Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva (c), Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Tony Munyonga, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams.