Zimbabwe A Team Tri-Series July 3, 2011

Ferguson fifty gives Australia A third win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia A 162 for 6 (Ferguson 57*, Utseya 3-27) beat Zimbabwe XI 159 (Chakabva 45, Starc 3-34, Lyon 3-38) by four wickets

Australia A were tested for the first time in the tournament, as Prosper Utseya's superb spell had them struggling at 67 for 4 chasing 160, but an unbeaten half-century from Callum Ferguson gave them a four-wicket win and secured their place in the final of the tri-series. It seemed like it would be another easy win for Australia after they bowled Zimbabwe XI out for 159, and reached 45 for 0. But Utseya removed both openers and Steve O' Keefe, while Tim Paine was run out first ball, to leave Australia in trouble.

John Hastings came in and launched a counterattack, hitting two sixes in his 19 off 15 balls. He and Ferguson put together 34 for the fifth wicket to steady things for Australia and then Mitchell Starc chipped in with 18 in a 42-run stand to set up the victory. Ferguson finished with 57 not out, including four boundaries and a six.

Earlier it had been a strange beginning to Australia's chase with the usually-aggressive David Warner scoring 3 off 22 balls in a 45-run stand with Aaron Finch. Utseya gave Zimbabwe hope after that, but they did not have enough runs on the board.

Zimbabwe's batting had shown improvement in their previous match, when they got to within a run of South Africa A's total of 238. But the chief contributor in that game, captain Brendan Taylor, was dismissed in the second over against Australia, trapped lbw by Starc. Hamilton Masakadza was run out three overs later and Zimbabwe never really recovered from the early blows. Regis Chakabva took 104 balls to get 45 and wickets kept falling at the other end. Nathan Lyon picked three middle-order wickets before Starc came back and took two more wickets.

Zimbabwe will now hope the Australians can beat South Africa on July 5 to give them a chance of qualifying for the final.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on July 4, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    @HatsforBats - you've left out Bolly & Copeland! I'd be surprised if Cameron is the only bowler to leave NSW over the next 12mths. I'm thinking Coyte & Bills would be thinking about somewhere else. Maybe Henriques as well.

  • kieran on July 4, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    @ Steven Andrews: Starc is over rated? Is he? If you've watched him for 6 years, has he not improved since he was 15? He's quick, 21, and impressed against Sri Lanka (I think they're good opposition). He deserves his chance, certainly before Cummins. Never mind my NSW bias, but a future line up of Cummins/Starc/Hazlewood looks good.

  • kudakwashe on July 4, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    i find it hard to believe why Vusa is selectd ahead of Chamu Chibhabha and also why continue to select Chigumbura. The selectors should create competition for these guys and not just give automatic selection for non perfomers.

  • Trevor on July 4, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    sorry my comments wasnt formatted correctly. my reference is to the Midwest Rhinos trio of Gary Ballance, Malcom Waller and Vusi Sibanda. Check their stats for last season and you wont get it how Vusi got the nod ahead of Ballance and Waller for that spot

  • Mo on July 4, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Surely by now Elton Chigumbura should be shelved, how many times are we seeing a failure from this man? Lets get Taibu , Chibhaba or even Tymcen Maruma a go.

  • Fazal on July 4, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    I was surprised to find that Mathew Wade had opened the bowling for Australia A whereas I knew him only as a dashing opening batsman & wicket keeper for Victoria. I think it's an error & according to the comments everybody seems to be confused & scratching their head.At the sametime I wonder why didn't Maddinson & Wade bat at the start of the innings instead left to bat at the end when we could have lost the game? This being Zimbabwe's senior side & only the aussie A team we should never have under estimated them.

  • Trevor on July 4, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    help me make a selection i have three guys and need to select say 2 and drop 1. player matches Runs Avg 1 9 718 51.28 2 11 691 46.06 3 11 649 43.26

    then for limited overs matches 1 8 269 38.42 2 5 176 58.66 3 7 144 24.00

    maybe its me but i just wonder where some selectors get it all wrong!!

  • Hrishikesh on July 4, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    did wade stop keeping and turned himself into an allrounder or something?

  • Matt on July 4, 2011, 2:46 GMT

    Maddinson and Wade must have been injured. And surely Wade didn't really open the bowling? Strange match.

  • Girik on July 4, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    These are the type of series that we should see more of. Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Ireland, etc. playing against the A teams of the top 8 countries. In particular it would be interesting to see one of the lower-ranked teams play against the A team of country with less depth like New Zealand or the Windies. It helps both the A team and the Associate/low-ranked teams because the games are much more competitive.

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