UNDER 19 WORLD CUP: Australia thrash Zimbabwe to get back on track

Australia captain Jason Sangha won the toss and chose to bowl; with rain set to arrive in the afternoon, he perhaps wanted to chase to know where his side stood in terms of DLS targets. As it was, the game was almost done by Lunch, Australia combining superbly to dismiss Zimbabwe for 134 before racing to 85/1 in 10 overs by the interval, finally reaching their target in less than 19 overs.

Xavier Bartlett of Australia is congratulated by team mates after dismissing Gregory Dollar PIC: ICC/Getty

Destroyer-in-chief was opening bowler Xavier Bartlett, who claimed the first three wickets to fall, finishing with figures of 3/20 from his seven overs, a stark contrast to his analysis of 0/47 from seven against India.

Australia’s fielding was a highlight, nine of the dismissals caught or run out, with Lloyd Pope’s caught-and-bowled a standout. He’ll also be pleased with how he recovered after a chastening day against India, in which he dropped two relatively easy catches – certainly easier than the catch he took today – and went for 22 off his three overs. Today, he took 2/31 off seven.

Zimbabwe will be desperately disappointed not to have built on their strong opening showing and capitalised on the weaknesses that Australia displayed against India. Indeed, even reaching triple figures seemed at one point beyond them when they fell to 87/8, and it was only some tail-end pluck from No.8 Robert Chimhinya, who top-scored with 27, and Tinashe Nenhunzi that helped them reach a still-meagre 134.

Australia, and particularly Jack Edwards, flew off in response. The opener had impressed against India, top-scoring for his side, but had struggled to score fluently. Here he showed he could thrive as well as survive with a 20-ball 40, which contained seven fours and a six. The cameo put Australia well on their way and ensured there were no early jitters.

Australia’s other opener Max Bryant was also spritely in making 44 off 27, while the other major contributor was Sangha who made a more sedate 30 before Jonathan Merlo finished the job. The Australian captain will surely be glad his side responded to a setback in the best possible way, and put themselves back on course for a quarter-final berth.

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