Fourth One-Day International

Zimbabwe v England

Paul Kelso

At Bulawayo, December 5, 2004. England won by 74 runs. Toss: England. One-day international debut: M. J. Prior.

A deeply unsatisfactory series concluded with yet another facile victory for England, watched from the stands by Heath Streak, the former Zimbabwe captain. England's inability to set totals as well as they chase them was evident as they stuttered to 104 for five in the 27th over. Better sides would have put them under pressure, but accomplished half-centuries from Vaughan, who hit his highest score in one-day internationals, and Geraint Jones ensured a total that was beyond the hosts. Vaughan's 90 not out came from 99 balls with only two fours and two sixes, while Jones's 80 took up just 75 deliveries. Their stand of 150 for the sixth wicket exceeded the record set four days earlier in Harare by Jones and Pietersen. England capped a fourth debutant, Matt Prior of Sussex, who was used as an opener but not in his other role of wicket-keeper. Batty was also given his first appearance of the series. England's contempt for the standard of opposition was evident as Vaughan used eight bowlers in Zimbabwe's innings, which featured a first one-day half-century for Masakadza. After the game, Vaughan said the retention of official status for Zimbabwe's under-strength side risked devaluing the currency of international cricket. Few who saw this series would have disagreed.

Man of the Match: G. O. Jones. Man of the Series: M. P. Vaughan.

© John Wisden & Co