Zimbabwe A Team Tri-Series, final July 8, 2011

Australia take title in thriller

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Australia A 293 for 6 (Hughes 138, Warner 120, van der Merwe 3-58) beat South Africa A 291 (Rudolph 90, van Jaarsveld 70, Mash 4-56) by two runs
Scorecard

Australia A registered a thrilling two-run win against South Africa A in the final of the Zimbabwe A Team Tri-Series in Harare, in a game that initially swung both ways and then seemed to be headed in South Africa's direction towards the end, before wickets off the last two balls sealed it for Australia.

Choosing to bat, Australia were off to a fine start, with their openers David Warner and Philip Hughes putting on 206 in 37.3 overs. Both completed centuries, with Hughes outscoring his partner in a run-a-ball 138, but the rest of the line-up failed to build on the start, as Australia stumbled from 206 for no loss to 293 for 6 at the end of their 50 overs. Roelof van der Merwe finished with the best figures, 3 for 58, though Justin Ontong was the most economical, conceding 36 runs in 10.

South Africa's chase began with a steady 68-run opening partnership, with in-form opener Jacques Rudolph going on to make 90, before he was run out. After a mini-collapse - South Africa went from 163 for 3 to 175 for 6 - the chase seemed back on track with Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who scored 70, combining with Vernon Philander for a 78-run stand.

However, Mitchell Marsh removed both batsmen off consecutive balls, helping Australia get a foot in the door. In the final over, bowled by Marsh, South Africa required 15 runs to win but only managed to score 12 from the first four balls and required three from the last two. Marsh bowled Kleinveldt on the fifth and Rusty Theron was run out on the last ball to give Australia a thrilling win.

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  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 11, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    Negatives of tour; 1. Starc was a bit below what I was expecting but he is returning from an injury. I don't think he took a Saffa wicket. 2. O'Keefe was below what I was expecting but really has shown form in 1st class & T20 cricket AND NOT List A's. 3. Copeland is NOT an ODI bowler. I am looking fwd to his 1st class leg of the tour, & fully believe he should go to SL with the Test team. I know he has only played 8 List A games, but his S/R is 70+. I think with the pace options Oz has at the moment he should be considered a Test specialist. 4. Wade didn't get a go! All up a good tour. Don't know what the fielding was like.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 11, 2011, 1:01 GMT

    Positives & Negatives for Oz A; Positives; 1. Newish talent went undefeated (although run close several times) 2. Ferguson proving that he at the very least should be a part of Oz main ODI side 3. Finch showing potential at International level. Scored most of his runs in lower scoring games. 4. Mitchell Marsh - although a long way to go - showed he can match it at International level with BAT & BALL. 5. Lyon's debut season with the redbacks is NOT a fluke, the leading wicket taker in the series. He must have a bit of something AND SHOULD of been on the plane to SL instead of Doherty for the ODIs. 6. P Hughes should be considered for ODIs as his List A stats are at least the equivalent of S Marsh. 7. Hastings & Lyon were the pick of the bowlers. I'd be happy if Hastings remains in our main ODI squad. 8. Butterworth was good but seemed to be under bowled, his economy was very good. 9. Maddinson performed well on his first major assignment.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 11, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    @Winsome/smudgeon - I agree with Winsome re Warner @ NSW. Warner did consider going to QLD about 2 yrs ago, because he wasn't (he felt), getting enough chances. The problem is/was that NSW have an over-supply of talent at the moment & they initially could only squeeze Warner into the 1st class side at number 6. Warner was even considering re-inventing himself as a (Smith-like) - batsmen come-leggie back then. @hyclass re: Warner. I'm happy enough for him to get a go at a Oz A side, I don't think anyone was very dominant with the bat in the recent series, but yes his ODI form for state & country is not very special at all. @ Winsome/ youngkeepersdad - I feel the tour is/was useful. Its one thing to do okay in a home domestic comp - its another to do well overseas. The Saffas had about 8 players that had previous International experience & the Zimmers well they were close to a full strength side (meaning they weren't really an A side), how good they are is a different story!

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 10, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    youngkeepersdad, I wasn't aware that Hughes or Warner were that crash hot at List A. Hughes List A sr was 70 before the final and Warner has been pretty ordinary for both NSW and Aus when given a chance n that format. Hughes scoring at a run a ball in that format is extremely encouraging even if the pitch was flat. And Marsh is 19 so any experience he gets at a higher level is going to show if he has a head for it. The four dayers will be less so as the Aussie squads are full of far more known quantities for the format and the Zimbabwean batsmen are not as strong as the South African A team.

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | July 10, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    It's hard to get excited by this tour. Sure, Paine's captaincy experience is a worthwhile objective, but take the final for example. Warner, Hughes & Marsh.M all did well but then we knew they could play List A stuff anyway, didn't we? SA 2nd XI is a bit of a lesser light when you think how many Saffers are playing Pom cricket currently. Glad Lyon got a gig, glad too see Zimbabwe coming back, but really, this wasn't an earth-shattering series. Maybe better will come.

  • POSTED BY straight_drive4 on | July 9, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    @winsome - you've mentioned 6 batters in that list and Hughes is probably going to be playing for Australia and khawaga is probably gonna be twelfth man and around the squad so that takes it down to 4. Surely someone with as much talent as him should be in that side, in saying that, worst case scenario is they all play - you'd think a team would want to have 6 batters anyway?!?!?! Just give him a chance fellas - he could be Australia's answer to sehwag.

  • POSTED BY Okakaboka on | July 9, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    @straight_drive4...I tend to disagree a bit on Finch. I think he is ready now. He is a very complete player and able to adapt quickly to circumstance. The only thing lacking is a couple of big hundreds.....which is a bit of a concern...BUT..... Of all the young batsmen around Australia at the moment...he should be first choice.....for the longer format of the game...not just 20/20. He is better technically than Khawaja, Hughes, Warner, etc. It is just the issue of no huge hundreds.....and the fact that our selectors have not got a clue what they are doing. The only way you could describe the current selection procedures is: "A sort of random process with sliding windows dependent on whether we focus on developing youth verses retaining out of form has-beens verses screwing over in-form older players????....varying by the hour". Enough Hilditch...Resign!!!!

  • POSTED BY Okakaboka on | July 9, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    @meety...I would agree on your comments via Lyon and O'Keefe. I still think O'keefe would be better suited to the longer format....and it is very hard to judge batting in a few ODIs. Lyon seems to be a find but unfortunately the selectors are still stuffing around with Beer and 'Half-tracker' Krejza.

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 9, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    straightdrive, who do you expect NSW to drop for Warner? Hughes? Jacques? Katich? Khawaja? Maddinson, who while being in the same boat has far better first class stats already? It's called competition for places. He is free to go to another state if he wants to get more first class time.

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 9, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    I think some of you going on about Warner know that this was a very good wicket? Troy Cooley said as much in his pre-match interview about the final. When the wickets were tougher early on in the series, he struggled a lot. But it will be great for his confidence leading into the four day match. The series as a whole must have been fun for the spectators.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 11, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    Negatives of tour; 1. Starc was a bit below what I was expecting but he is returning from an injury. I don't think he took a Saffa wicket. 2. O'Keefe was below what I was expecting but really has shown form in 1st class & T20 cricket AND NOT List A's. 3. Copeland is NOT an ODI bowler. I am looking fwd to his 1st class leg of the tour, & fully believe he should go to SL with the Test team. I know he has only played 8 List A games, but his S/R is 70+. I think with the pace options Oz has at the moment he should be considered a Test specialist. 4. Wade didn't get a go! All up a good tour. Don't know what the fielding was like.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 11, 2011, 1:01 GMT

    Positives & Negatives for Oz A; Positives; 1. Newish talent went undefeated (although run close several times) 2. Ferguson proving that he at the very least should be a part of Oz main ODI side 3. Finch showing potential at International level. Scored most of his runs in lower scoring games. 4. Mitchell Marsh - although a long way to go - showed he can match it at International level with BAT & BALL. 5. Lyon's debut season with the redbacks is NOT a fluke, the leading wicket taker in the series. He must have a bit of something AND SHOULD of been on the plane to SL instead of Doherty for the ODIs. 6. P Hughes should be considered for ODIs as his List A stats are at least the equivalent of S Marsh. 7. Hastings & Lyon were the pick of the bowlers. I'd be happy if Hastings remains in our main ODI squad. 8. Butterworth was good but seemed to be under bowled, his economy was very good. 9. Maddinson performed well on his first major assignment.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 11, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    @Winsome/smudgeon - I agree with Winsome re Warner @ NSW. Warner did consider going to QLD about 2 yrs ago, because he wasn't (he felt), getting enough chances. The problem is/was that NSW have an over-supply of talent at the moment & they initially could only squeeze Warner into the 1st class side at number 6. Warner was even considering re-inventing himself as a (Smith-like) - batsmen come-leggie back then. @hyclass re: Warner. I'm happy enough for him to get a go at a Oz A side, I don't think anyone was very dominant with the bat in the recent series, but yes his ODI form for state & country is not very special at all. @ Winsome/ youngkeepersdad - I feel the tour is/was useful. Its one thing to do okay in a home domestic comp - its another to do well overseas. The Saffas had about 8 players that had previous International experience & the Zimmers well they were close to a full strength side (meaning they weren't really an A side), how good they are is a different story!

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 10, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    youngkeepersdad, I wasn't aware that Hughes or Warner were that crash hot at List A. Hughes List A sr was 70 before the final and Warner has been pretty ordinary for both NSW and Aus when given a chance n that format. Hughes scoring at a run a ball in that format is extremely encouraging even if the pitch was flat. And Marsh is 19 so any experience he gets at a higher level is going to show if he has a head for it. The four dayers will be less so as the Aussie squads are full of far more known quantities for the format and the Zimbabwean batsmen are not as strong as the South African A team.

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | July 10, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    It's hard to get excited by this tour. Sure, Paine's captaincy experience is a worthwhile objective, but take the final for example. Warner, Hughes & Marsh.M all did well but then we knew they could play List A stuff anyway, didn't we? SA 2nd XI is a bit of a lesser light when you think how many Saffers are playing Pom cricket currently. Glad Lyon got a gig, glad too see Zimbabwe coming back, but really, this wasn't an earth-shattering series. Maybe better will come.

  • POSTED BY straight_drive4 on | July 9, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    @winsome - you've mentioned 6 batters in that list and Hughes is probably going to be playing for Australia and khawaga is probably gonna be twelfth man and around the squad so that takes it down to 4. Surely someone with as much talent as him should be in that side, in saying that, worst case scenario is they all play - you'd think a team would want to have 6 batters anyway?!?!?! Just give him a chance fellas - he could be Australia's answer to sehwag.

  • POSTED BY Okakaboka on | July 9, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    @straight_drive4...I tend to disagree a bit on Finch. I think he is ready now. He is a very complete player and able to adapt quickly to circumstance. The only thing lacking is a couple of big hundreds.....which is a bit of a concern...BUT..... Of all the young batsmen around Australia at the moment...he should be first choice.....for the longer format of the game...not just 20/20. He is better technically than Khawaja, Hughes, Warner, etc. It is just the issue of no huge hundreds.....and the fact that our selectors have not got a clue what they are doing. The only way you could describe the current selection procedures is: "A sort of random process with sliding windows dependent on whether we focus on developing youth verses retaining out of form has-beens verses screwing over in-form older players????....varying by the hour". Enough Hilditch...Resign!!!!

  • POSTED BY Okakaboka on | July 9, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    @meety...I would agree on your comments via Lyon and O'Keefe. I still think O'keefe would be better suited to the longer format....and it is very hard to judge batting in a few ODIs. Lyon seems to be a find but unfortunately the selectors are still stuffing around with Beer and 'Half-tracker' Krejza.

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 9, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    straightdrive, who do you expect NSW to drop for Warner? Hughes? Jacques? Katich? Khawaja? Maddinson, who while being in the same boat has far better first class stats already? It's called competition for places. He is free to go to another state if he wants to get more first class time.

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 9, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    I think some of you going on about Warner know that this was a very good wicket? Troy Cooley said as much in his pre-match interview about the final. When the wickets were tougher early on in the series, he struggled a lot. But it will be great for his confidence leading into the four day match. The series as a whole must have been fun for the spectators.

  • POSTED BY straight_drive4 on | July 9, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    @meety - i also like finich and i dont see why we should have to compare them - neither of them are ready for higher honours and probably wont be ready for a while so i say lets just enjoy them both playing for the A team while we can and well back them both all the way and whoever puts his hands up over the next few years we will support them, coz lets face it, this is only the beginning of them both paying for the A team in the longer format and its their first real chance. @ HYCLASS - i tend to agree with you - you are right the sense that warner hasnt yet proven himself CONSISTENTLY at state level and probally didnt deserve his spot in the first place BUT stats can be used to prove anything. if you look at warner, the idiotic hierachy at NSW cricket only give him a 4 day game here and there and then expect him to come out blazing and average 50? impossible. is that the way to nuture potential? i say lets give him a good solid 2 years playing constantly then we can judge him

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Australia have loads of talent,just got to use it in the right way.Mitch Marsh certainly looks to be a promising allrounder who can bat at 4 or 5 and bowl at a decent pace of 130-135 kmph as a first change seamer taking the odd wicket.Dave Warner has proved he is not just an IPL wonder.Should see how they both adapt to the 4 day format,particularly Marsh who needs to bowl lot of overs at a young age other than batting up the order.O'Keffe,James Faulkner and Luke Butterworth also look to have talent.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner and Luke Butterworth are far better option than Steve Smith at this moment. Nathan Lyon looks good, should be preferred ahead of Doherty, Beer etc.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | July 9, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    @MeijiMura - Agreed re: Cremer & Taibu, and I really look forward to seeing more of Cremer. He didn't take a huge amount of wickets in the WC, but he showed his quality throughout. Enormously talented. Between him, Ray Price, and Propser Utseya, they have a pretty good spin attack - it'll be good to see them having a go when they return to test cricket. Speaking of spin, I was a bit reticent about Nathan Lyons when I heard he was going to Zimbabwe - who the hell is Nathan Lyons? A damn good spinner, from the sounds of it. He might well be the genuine article, although time will tell. Still can't quite figure why O'Keefe isn't in the 4-day squad...

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2011, 0:49 GMT

    The future of Aussie Cricket never looked better. I think Lyon is the real deal and should have been picked for SL tour.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | July 9, 2011, 0:26 GMT

    While Warner may have a future,the criticism levelled at him by many has been totally justified.Nothing in his record proclaims him a test player,or in any way top drawer.That he can play occasional innings of substance is not in question.Most 1st class players have that ability.Its whether he plays those innings often enough to be given more credit than far better performed players.He has been playing at this level since Jan 2007.Almost all his innings have been as an opener,giving him the longest time to bat and the best opportunity to make runs.He has played 190 innings,for 4 centuries-one every 47.5 innings.He has played 130 20/20 innings,48 oneday innings and 12 ,1st class innings.Despite his century,in this series,he scored 173 runs at 34-ordinary.His last 10 innings total 256 runs at 25.6.-very ordinary.His 20/20 and oneday averages at state level are 28.His oneday average for australia is 15.Give him a go at 1st class level but lets wait for some actual results.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 9, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    @straight_drive4 - I must admit whilst I was happy for him to be tried on this tour, I was starting to be converted to a Finch fan & had him inching ahead of Warner. I think this innings has put him back in front, The best thing about the innings was that it doesn't appear to be all smash & wallop. He got his tom in less than a run a ball which suggest he WAS choosing which ball to belt (he did hit 3 6s). -- -- -- Well done Hughesy - he loves the African continent! -- -- -- I'm a big fan of O'Keefe & whilst I've had reservations about him being selected in his least successful format, I have to say Lyon has out performed him hands down. O'Keefe put in a par performance with the ball - a bit dissappointing with the bat, but Lyon was brilliant. WHY o' WHY was the ODI side for SL named before this tournament was completed???? Honestly Doherty & Krezja have been under par in their ODIs, I think O'Keefe has shown as much talent as they have, AND Lyon has been brilliant!!!!

  • POSTED BY katandthat3 on | July 8, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    Mitchell Marsh is the business. Hughesy loves South African bowling doesn't he. Great effort by the boys, would have been a great series to watch.

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | July 8, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Couple of classic close finishes between Aust & SA in this series. Lyon has a good series ...is he one of those players who comes from seemingly nowhere to grab a top-line career? And is it just me or is Mitchell Marsh starting to take big steps forward after a period of being promising but not reflecting that in his numbers. Know he didnt make any runs but interesting to see him trusted (and succeed) in the death overs.

  • POSTED BY MeijiMura on | July 8, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    With Hilfenhaus and Siddle taking part in the four day games against Zimbabwe it remains to be seen whether there will be any wickets left to take for the likes of Kreja and Beer!

    Hopefully Zimbabwe will have Taibu and Cremer back and make a few other changes to make them more competitive in the longer form of the game, otherwise the highly competitive one-day series will become a distant memory to be replaced by woefully inadequate performances that only continue to highlight how unprepared Zimbabwe are for a return to Test Cricket so soon.

    A few years of regular A-team one-day tournaments and four day matches both at home in Zimbabwe and abroad would have been far better for the future of Zimbabwean cricket than rushing them back into Test Cricket years before they are ready to be even remotely competitive. They were competitive against Australia A and South Africa A but it's a big step up to the next level, especially in the longer form of the game.

    Good luck Zim, you'll need it

  • POSTED BY Josh_Schon81 on | July 8, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    Even more pleasing for an Aussie fan because their side were all youngsters pushing for national team selection. Unlike South Africa's with Rudolph, van der Merwe, Philander and Ontong etc.

  • POSTED BY straight_drive4 on | July 8, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    Ps.. In the earlier articles (before the series started) a lot of people were knocking Dave Warner for both his one day and 4 day form. Obviously he hasn't had the chance to prove himself in the 4 day leg of this tour yet but I certainly hope this century will shut people up and allow him to prove himself and they give him a go. Got absolute bucket loads of talent - just needs to channel his aggression and pick the right ball to go.

  • POSTED BY straight_drive4 on | July 8, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    I wish this game was televised....

  • POSTED BY hris on | July 8, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    hope kreja and beer struggle badly against zim in tests. maybe then the selectors would pick nathon Lyon for the SL tests.

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 8, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    This series has been high on thrillers, I hope the games got some spectators. Good to see them all fighting it out till the end.

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  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 8, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    This series has been high on thrillers, I hope the games got some spectators. Good to see them all fighting it out till the end.

  • POSTED BY hris on | July 8, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    hope kreja and beer struggle badly against zim in tests. maybe then the selectors would pick nathon Lyon for the SL tests.

  • POSTED BY straight_drive4 on | July 8, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    I wish this game was televised....

  • POSTED BY straight_drive4 on | July 8, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    Ps.. In the earlier articles (before the series started) a lot of people were knocking Dave Warner for both his one day and 4 day form. Obviously he hasn't had the chance to prove himself in the 4 day leg of this tour yet but I certainly hope this century will shut people up and allow him to prove himself and they give him a go. Got absolute bucket loads of talent - just needs to channel his aggression and pick the right ball to go.

  • POSTED BY Josh_Schon81 on | July 8, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    Even more pleasing for an Aussie fan because their side were all youngsters pushing for national team selection. Unlike South Africa's with Rudolph, van der Merwe, Philander and Ontong etc.

  • POSTED BY MeijiMura on | July 8, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    With Hilfenhaus and Siddle taking part in the four day games against Zimbabwe it remains to be seen whether there will be any wickets left to take for the likes of Kreja and Beer!

    Hopefully Zimbabwe will have Taibu and Cremer back and make a few other changes to make them more competitive in the longer form of the game, otherwise the highly competitive one-day series will become a distant memory to be replaced by woefully inadequate performances that only continue to highlight how unprepared Zimbabwe are for a return to Test Cricket so soon.

    A few years of regular A-team one-day tournaments and four day matches both at home in Zimbabwe and abroad would have been far better for the future of Zimbabwean cricket than rushing them back into Test Cricket years before they are ready to be even remotely competitive. They were competitive against Australia A and South Africa A but it's a big step up to the next level, especially in the longer form of the game.

    Good luck Zim, you'll need it

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | July 8, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Couple of classic close finishes between Aust & SA in this series. Lyon has a good series ...is he one of those players who comes from seemingly nowhere to grab a top-line career? And is it just me or is Mitchell Marsh starting to take big steps forward after a period of being promising but not reflecting that in his numbers. Know he didnt make any runs but interesting to see him trusted (and succeed) in the death overs.

  • POSTED BY katandthat3 on | July 8, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    Mitchell Marsh is the business. Hughesy loves South African bowling doesn't he. Great effort by the boys, would have been a great series to watch.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 9, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    @straight_drive4 - I must admit whilst I was happy for him to be tried on this tour, I was starting to be converted to a Finch fan & had him inching ahead of Warner. I think this innings has put him back in front, The best thing about the innings was that it doesn't appear to be all smash & wallop. He got his tom in less than a run a ball which suggest he WAS choosing which ball to belt (he did hit 3 6s). -- -- -- Well done Hughesy - he loves the African continent! -- -- -- I'm a big fan of O'Keefe & whilst I've had reservations about him being selected in his least successful format, I have to say Lyon has out performed him hands down. O'Keefe put in a par performance with the ball - a bit dissappointing with the bat, but Lyon was brilliant. WHY o' WHY was the ODI side for SL named before this tournament was completed???? Honestly Doherty & Krezja have been under par in their ODIs, I think O'Keefe has shown as much talent as they have, AND Lyon has been brilliant!!!!

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | July 9, 2011, 0:26 GMT

    While Warner may have a future,the criticism levelled at him by many has been totally justified.Nothing in his record proclaims him a test player,or in any way top drawer.That he can play occasional innings of substance is not in question.Most 1st class players have that ability.Its whether he plays those innings often enough to be given more credit than far better performed players.He has been playing at this level since Jan 2007.Almost all his innings have been as an opener,giving him the longest time to bat and the best opportunity to make runs.He has played 190 innings,for 4 centuries-one every 47.5 innings.He has played 130 20/20 innings,48 oneday innings and 12 ,1st class innings.Despite his century,in this series,he scored 173 runs at 34-ordinary.His last 10 innings total 256 runs at 25.6.-very ordinary.His 20/20 and oneday averages at state level are 28.His oneday average for australia is 15.Give him a go at 1st class level but lets wait for some actual results.