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Australia-Zimbabwe match washed out

Heavy rain prevented Zimbabwe from replying to Australia's total of 263 for nine on Thursday.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2004 11:53 IST

Rain thwarted Zimbabwe's hopes of registering their first victory in the triangular one-day series after they had restricted Australia to 263 for nine at the Melbourne Cricket Ground here today.

Only a run-a-ball half century by one-day specialist Michael Bevan helped the world champions reach a competitive total after they had been reduced to 155 for five at one stage of the innings.

Rains, that had caused a 45-minute interruption ealier during the Australian innings, visited again during the lunch break and never stopped thereafter.

The match was called off by the umpires when there was no let up in downpour after two hours' wait.
The teams shared three points each from the no result.

The Africans now have six points and are left with one match against India on Tuesday at Perth in the round-robin.

Australia now have 31 points and, with India (23), have already made it to the best-of-three finals.

Earlier, Zimbabwe once again came up with a tidy bowling performance after captain Heath Streak won the toss and put Australia in to bat in overcast conditions.

Streak's men produced an inspiring cricket when they effected three run outs that took the wind out of the Australians' sails.

Streak himself picked two for 47 but Andy Blignaut was brilliant on the field, running out the dangerous Bevan and Ian Harvey besides taking a catch in the deep in the final over to dismiss Brett Lee.

It was then Bevan's workman like 56 including just three fours that gave the world champions a fighting total that had looked impossible after the top order had produced a listless performance.

Damien Martyn broke his run of poor scores with a quickfire 42 that came from 40 balls with eight fours before he was snared by a Streak delivery that nipped back and struck him in front of the stumps.

After Matthew Hayden (23) edged Hondo on to his stumps and Michael Clarke (11) misread an incoming delivery from Blessing Mahwire, Ricky Ponting and Ian Harvey added 42 runs for the fourth wicket that took Australia past the 100-mark.

But Harvey (23) was beaten by Blignaut's quick silver fielding when he was sent back by Ponting in the 27th over.

Ponting (35) did not last long and was guilty of a loose sweep shot against left-arm spinner Raymond Price that top edged to Mahwire at square leg.

The recovery work was left to Bevan once again but he had a fiery partner in Brad Haddin who went on the offensive from the outset.

Haddin's 32 came from 46 balls and consisted of two fours and as many sixes before he dragged a Streak slower one on to his stumps.

The sixth wicket stand between Haddin and Bevan was worth 58 and was perhaps the turning point of the Aussie innings.

Streak then effected a smart run out to send back Brad Hogg (0) before Bevan failed to make home to become Blignaut's second run out victim.

Andy Bichel (23) then picked some quick singles besides making a few typical one-day shots. He clubbed Sean Ervine over mid-on off the last ball of the innings for a super slog.

Scorecard

First Published: Jan 29, 2004 10:23 IST