Match report | Zimbabwe Tri-series 2014 - Australia hammer Zimbabwe in tri-series opener |

Australia hammer Zimbabwe in tri-series opener

25 Aug 2014, 2000 hrs IST,  AP  
Australia hammer Zimbabwe in tri-series opener
© AP
Australia now play South Africa on Wednesday.
Harare: Australia racked up the records in their first game in Zimbabwe in 10 years on Monday, hitting the highest one-day score at Harare Sports Club on the way to a 198-run victory and their biggest win ever over the Zimbabweans.

Some brutal hitting by Australia's batsmen powered them to 350 for 6 and the bowlers followed up to dismiss Zimbabwe for 152 in 39.3 overs to open the ODI triangular series with a huge win. "To play like that at the start of the tournament, we're all very happy," Australia bowler Mitchell Johnson said.

Glenn Maxwell smashed 93 from just 46 balls with nine fours and five sixes for Australia. Mitchell Marsh thumped 89 off 83 balls with seven fours and four sixes. They blitzed Zimbabwe's bowlers in a damaging fourth-wicket stand of 109 from 54 deliveries.

Hamilton Masakadza made 70 in Zimbabwe's chase but had no support as the home team fell to its heaviest defeat to the Aussies — 50 runs heavier than the previous record loss in Hobart in 2004. "Outplayed. Simple as that," Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said. "Hopefully things will change in the next game."

Legspinner Steve Smith took 3 for 16 for Australia and Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon had two wickets each to back up the blistering performance from the batsmen. Top-ranked Australia was straight back on form in their first 50-over game since January. They face No. 3-ranked South Africa in the second game of the triangular series on Wednesday.

After Australia was put in to bat, Aaron Finch made 67 in a 98-run opening partnership with Brad Haddin (46) and Australia cashed in on a slow pitch against Zimbabwe's ineffective bowling attack. Australia was missing captain Michael Clarke to a hamstring injury and left out in-form batsman Phil Hughes, but still made a ground-record total, beating Zimbabwe's 340 for 2 against Namibia in 2003.

Maxwell played a series of brilliantly inventive shots, including a switch-hit for six off spinner Sean Williams. His half-century came up off just 28 balls. Marsh accelerated rapidly at the end of his innings and both looked certain to make centuries before they both holed out going for another massive hit. Marsh was caught down at long-on and Maxwell sent a towering shot high into the air that was caught superbly by Tino Mawoyo near the boundary.

With Maxwell and Marsh rampant, Australia plundered 147 off the last 10 overs as it rained boundaries at the start of the two-week tournament. Johnson added late impetus with his 20 from 10 balls, including a straight six that smashed into the window of a television commentary box and sent the commentators ducking for cover.

"I was very happy with that shot so I'm not going to apologize," Johnson joked. "But hopefully I didn't hurt anyone."

Tendai Chatara's 2 for 77 was the best return for Zimbabwe's battered bowlers. Masakadza hit six fours and a six in his half-century but had no support from Zimbabwe's other batsmen. His knock and a 63-run partnership with Sikandar Raza were the only high points of the innings.

Brief scores: Australia 350 for 6 (Maxwell 92, Marsh 89) beat Zimbabwe 152 in 39.3 overs (Masakadza 70) by 198 runs.

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Aus thrash Zim by 198 runs

After being out into bat, Australia started off well with openers Aaron Finch and Brad Haddin adding 98 runs for the opening wicket.
Finch scored 67 off 79 balls and combined for a 47-run stand with Mitchell Marsh for the second wicket before getting out to John Nyumbu.
Mitchell Marsh (89) and Glenn Maxwell then took the Zimbabwe bowlers to the cleaners adding 109 runs in just nine overs to put Australia en route to a big score.
Glenn Maxwell went berserk in the slog overs to take Australia to 350 in 50 overs and ended up scoring 93 off 46 balls.
Zimbabwe were never really in the chase and were all out for 152 with Hamilton Masakadza top-scoring with 70.
Sikander Raza scored 33 and along with Masakadza combined for a 63-run stand for the second wicket.
Steven Smith was the pick of the Australian bowlers taking three wickets for 16 runs.
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