Aaron Finch smashed a record breaking 172 runs off just 76 balls as the Aussies decimated the Chevrons, winning by 100 runs at the Harare Sports Club.
By SportBrief Reporter
It has been anticipated that Zimbabwe were going to lose given they are playing with a largely understrength team up against the might of the Aussies, but somehow we just seemed to have been hanging on to dim hopes of pulling an underdog surprise like what’s been happening at the world cup in Russia.
Well, safe to say that hasn’t been the case so far as the Aussies captain Aaron Finch carried out a one-man demolition job on the Chevrons, smashing an incredible 172 runs – the second highest score in T20s and the highest in T20Is – to power Australia to 229 for 2.
In response, Zimbabwe could only manage 129 for 9 to slip to their second consecutive loss after having succumbed to Pakistan on Sunday in the Tri-series opener.
Having been put in to field first, Zimbabwe bowlers struggled to contain openers Finch and D’Arcy Short as they scored 223 for the first wicket – the highest stand for any wicket in T20Is – yet Short contributed just 46, and that after chewing 42 deliveries on a batting paradise.
For what it’s worth, Short struggled against spin, and it wasn’t a surprise given his vulnerabilities against the same, and Zimbabwe ensured there was a heavy dose of it. And despite all the struggles, the move backfired as his partner on the other end, Finch was taking on the spinners at will.
Fielding weaknesses were exposed for the hosts as Finch was dropped thrice during his 76-ball stay before he eventually fell in the final over but the damage had already been done with the visitors racking up 229 runs for the loss of just 2 wickets.
In response, Zimbabwe never looked really convincing despite a promising start. The powerplay yielded 63 runs for the loss of two wickets, but it was the Australia show all the way. Wickets kept coming and the chase got stuck in the taxiway refusing to take off. It was all too easy for the visiting bowlers and they made merry against a hapless opposition.
Solomon Mire (28), Chamu Chibhabha (18) and PJ Moor (19) were the only batsmen that could muster somewhat of a decent score as the Chevrons were eventually bundled out for 129. Safe to say the hosts are really missing the likes of Graeme Cremer, Brendan Taylor and Sikander Raza who are still locked up in salary issues with the ZC board.
Be that as it may, the Chevrons have to find a way to pick themselves up as they face Pakistan on Wednesday.