Australia complete ODI series win against Zimbabwe 

Steve Smith was among runs in both the ODIs against Zimbabwe so far

Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa took 3 wickets each as Australia recorded a huge victory by 8 wickets in the second one-day international played at Townsville on Wednesday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing three-match series. The third and final ODI will be played at the same venue on Saturday. 

Zimbabwe were bowled out for an embarrassing total of 96 in 27.5 overs with Mitchell Starc returning with 8-1-24-3 and Adam Zampa taking 3.5-0-21-3. The right-arm fast bowler Josh Hazlewood was once again impressive as he took 1/16 from his 6 overs whereas there were other bowlers who were also on the mark, with Cameron Green producing yet another impressive spell of 3-0-7-2.

All-rounder Marcus Stoinis allowed only 9 runs from his 4 wicketless overs while Ashton Agar took a 1/15 from his 3 overs in yet another impressive outing against the African side.

For Zimbabwe, Sean Williams top scored with 29 from 45 balls with 3 boundaries whereas the likes of Regis Chakabva, Ryan Burl and Tony Munyonga scored 10 runs each. The senior batsman Sikandar Raza made 17 but none of them could really challenge the Australian bowlers, who were on a rampage on Wednesday morning.

In their reply, Australian openers David Warner and Aaron Finch did not have success as they were dismissed for 13 and 1 respectively but middle-order batsman Steve Smith finished the game in the company of wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey. 

Steve Smith, who had played a slowish knock in the first match, was aggressive this time around, hitting 8 boundaries and a six to score 47 not out from just 41 balls. On the other hand, Alex Carey reached 26 not out from 33 balls when the winning runs were scored. In reply to Zimbabwe’s 96 not out, Australia scored 100/2 in 14.4 overs to record a massive victory. 

Australia captain Aaron Finch said after the game,

“I thought the [bowling] was clinical. The tone set by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood was terrific. Couldn’t have gone more to plan there.”

Talking about promoting Alex Carey at No 4, Aaron Finch explained,

“I think we have to be flexible and understand where you play. Over the next little while, we have to keep experimenting with the different ways to play one day cricket. I have chatted to the boys about flexibility in selection. You just want to keep playing good cricket regardless of the result.”

In the first game of the series played on August 28, Australia did find little difficulty to get past the challenge thrown by Zimbabwe. All-rounder Cameron Green produced a fine spell of 9-0-33-5 whereas Adam Zampa was a little expensive, giving away 57 runs in his 10 overs for 3 wickets.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 200 in 47.3 overs and in their reply, Australian batsmen took their time to get past the finish line. David Warner scored 57 from 66 balls with 7 fours and a six while Steve Smith consumed as many as 80 balls to make 48 not out with the help of 6 boundaries. 

All-rounder Glenn Maxwell hammered 3 sixes and as many boundaries towards the end of the contest to bring a swift end with Australia’s scoring 201/5 from 33.3 overs to take 1-0 lead in the series. 

The third and final ODI of the series will be played in Townsville on September 3.