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

Australia take title in thriller

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew 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.

  • Andrew 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.

  • Andrew 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!

  • Lou 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.

  • Philip 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.

  • David 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.

  • Hector 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!!!!

  • Hector 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.

  • Lou 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.

  • Lou 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.

  • No featured comments at the moment.