Green takes five as Zimbabwe collapse after Madhevere fifty
Zimbabwe lost 6 for 15 after building a promising platform in the opening ODI
Cameron Green, who is being viewed as Australia’s third quick bowler in their ODI side as they build towards next year’s World Cup, bagged the first five-wicket haul of his international career as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 200 in the opening match of the series in Townsville.
Zimbabwe could never really cut lose after being asked to bat, but a career-best from Wessly Madhevere, who might not have played if Sean Williams had been fit, held them together in their first match against Australia on their soil since 2003-04 before the innings fell away at the death.
Green, who had taken just one wicket in his previous seven ODIs, was the pick of Australia’s attack, causing problems with his bounce, snaring the key wicket of Sikandar Raza and adding four more in the closing overs as Zimbabwe lost 6 for 15 and failed to bat the 50 overs.
Unsurprisingly, Aaron Finch had put Zimbabwe in with the early start and Australia kept the scoring rate on a tight leash during the first 10 overs but the openers did well to withstand the opening spells. Tadiwanashe Marumani was given a life on 15 when Mitchell Marsh shelled a tough chance at midwicket and Australia burned a review against Innocent Kaia in the 10th over when the ball pitched well outside leg.
Marsh made the breakthrough shortly after the powerplay when Kaia offered a return catch but Zimbabwe steadily increased the tempo with Marumani getting the benefit of his early hard work.
However, with a maiden half-century in sight in Marumani advanced at Adam Zampa and was beaten which led to a few overs of caution. Madhevere and Tony Munyonga then produced a boundary apiece against Zampa in the 25th over, only for Steven Smith to pull off a spectacular running catch from mid-off to remove Munyonga as he aimed down the ground again.
The in-form Raza, who has enjoyed a stunning run against Bangladesh and India in recent weeks, was tied down by Australia’s quicks before falling to a short delivery from Green which he top edge to fine leg removing a major threat with nearly 20 overs to go.
Madhevere continued to anchor the innings and brought up his half-century from 67 balls while Regis Chakabva provided some extra momentum heading into the final 10 overs with a spritely display. Madhevere’s stay came to a rather soft end, however, when he prodded a return catch to Zampa off his final delivery.
The innings quickly lost its way after that as Green struck four times in two overs, making good use of the short ball, although he looked somewhat sheepish as his fourth and fifth wickets were snaffled by Glenn Maxwell at deep midwicket.
In their allrounder-heavy side, Australia used six bowlers with Marnus Stoinis being the bowling option not given any overs.
Zimbabwe had suffered a blow before the match when the experienced Williams was ruled out after taking a blow below his left elbow during training on Saturday.