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After 31 years, Zimbabwe shock Australia in one-day cricket

Chigumbura's 52 guides Zimbabwe to a historic three-wicket win

Harare: Elton Chigumbura hit an unbeaten half-century as Zimbabwe recorded a famous three-wicket victory over No 1-ranked Australia in a one-day triangular series match in Harare yesterday for only their second win over their opponents in 31 years.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura celebrates his team's historic victory yesterday
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura celebrates his team's historic victory yesterday 

Chigumbura finished on 52 not out and shared an unbroken stand of 55 with Prosper Utseya as Zimbabwe chased down a target of 210 to win with two overs to spare.

Zimbabwe's only previous win over the Australians was at Trent Bridge in the 1983 World Cup, in the first ever encounter between the two sides.

Clarke to head home
Yesterday's defeat was a humbling experience for Australia, who misread conditions and left out legspinning all rounder Steve Smith, and underestimated Zimbabwe by resting premier fast bowler Mitchell Johnson. It proved to be even costlier as inspirational captain Michael Clarke re-injured his hamstring and will fly home on Monday.

Zimbabwe players are ecstatic after beating Australia in the ODI tri-series at Harare yesterday. Pics/AFP
Zimbabwe players are ecstatic after beating Australia in the ODI tri-series at Harare yesterday. Pics/AFP 

"At the end of the day the selectors pick the team and I try and get the best out of the players," Clarke said. "That's all you can do.

I think we've seen through Smithy's career that he's a pretty good player of spin bowling and he can bowl some handy leg spinners, so I think he would have been handy out there."

Australia now need to beat South Africa on Tuesday to assure themselves of a place in Saturday's final.

The hamstring injury had kept Clarke out of Australia's first two games, and it flared up again to force him to retire hurt on 68 as Australia limped to a total of 209 for nine.

Although he returned to the crease for the final two deliveries of Australia's innings and bowled an over of spin at the death, he confirmed that he will take no further part in the tournament.

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