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Inspired Zimbabwe humble world giant

Zimbabwe have caused one of the biggest upsets in cricket history by beating World Champions Australia by 5 wickets in a truly stunning match at Newlands in Cape Town.

The 50-over world champions could only manage 138-9, with Elton Chigumbura (3-20) and Gary Brent (2-19) backed up by energetic fielding and good catches.

Vusi Sibanda (23) began the reply well but wickets slowed the scoring before rain forced a delay in Cape Town.

Brendan Taylor kept cool to hit 60 off 45 balls and the penultimate ball went for four leg-byes to seal a famous win.

It provided an early and dramatic twist in Group B, which also features England, who can eliminate the world's best team by beating them on Friday.

Ricky Ponting's men will need to improve considerably after a well below-par performance which continued the rustiness they showed in the warm-up matches.

Ponting became the first skipper in the tournament so far to opt to bat and soon saw Matthew Hayden edge behind, while Adam Gilchrist mis-timed a pull to deep mid-wicket to give Chigumbura two early victims.

When Ponting heaved Brent down to third man, the Aussies were 19-3 and Sibanda struck another blow when he hit the target from point after Mike Hussey changed his mind over a quick single.

The first six arrived in the 14th over when Brad Hodge (35no) crashed Hamilton Masakadza over wide mid-on but two balls later the Australians were five down when Andrew Symonds (33) was stumped lunging forward to the medium-pacer.

Hodge, the leading run scorer in Twenty20 history, then launched Tawanda Mupariwa over the fence at deep mid-wicket for his second maximum and he remained their best hope of a challenging total.

But Brad Haddin was snaffled at long-on, while Brett Lee clobbered Tatenda Taibu through the off-side for a six and four before losing his off-stump.

Mitchell Johnson was sent packing by a stunning throw from keeper Brendan Taylor which hit the single stump he had to aim at and Nathan Bracken sliced Chigumbura to deep cover.

Sibanda pouched with aplomb and then launched a series off terrific drives, crashing Bracken and Lee through the covers before hammering Bracken down the ground.

Ponting cut a worried figure but he was relieved when Sibanda edged behind trying to flay the left-armer away.

Justice Chibhabha made a confident start by driving Clark firmly down the ground and helped Mitchell Johnson down to backward square-leg before pummelling the left-armer to the long-off boundary.

Taylor had been content to push the ball around for singles but he too got in on the act by cutting Clark as 50 was passed in the seventh over.

But Chibhabha got carried away and mis-timed another booming drive off Clark straight up in the air, Gilchrist pouncing, while Taibu edged Johnson behind to no doubt create palpitations in the Zimbabwean dressing room.

The boundaries dried up as the seamers started pitching the ball shorter and Matsikenyeri should have been run out by Hodge at one end and by the fielder backing up at the other.

With the rain coming down hard, the sense of drama was heightened when Matsikenyeri skied a catch off Clark to keeper Gilchrist and the seamer ended with excellent figures of 2-22.

When the umpires called a halt not long after the Aussies were firmly back in the game but boundaries started flowing on the resumption and Taylor cracked two big straight sixes off Hodge to bring the game back to the boil.

He got to his fifty off 38 balls and 23 were needed off the last three overs but clever bowling from Johnson and Lee denied the batsmen the room to clear the field.

Masakadza (27) was lbw trying to do that against Lee and 12 were required off the final over.

Taylor got an inside edge of the first ball from Bracken which evaded the fielder at deep backward square-leg and when the fifth delivery was speared down the leg-side by Bracken, it flicked off his pads to spark scenes of unbridled jubilation.

source - cricket20.com
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