source: Twitter

The Riverway Stadium in Townsville witnessed Zimbabwe winning their first ever win in an International against Australia on Australian soil; the win is indescribable for Zimbabwe especially with everything that they have gone through all these years!

When Brad Evans drove Mitchell Starc through covers for a single on the final ball of 39th Over , Zimbabwe had created a history, they registered their first ever win against Australia in Australia.  The Zimbabwe fans and the players erupted in celebration of a win that could be termed as one of the greatest  victories in Zimbabwe’s history.

Zimbabwe were trounced in the first two games which also led Dave Houghton saying that there is huge gulf  between the skill set of both Australia and Zimbabwe. It is another reason to savor this victory which proves that a team can do better if they can get regular games especially against top teams.

The win at Townsville could be ranked equal to some of the major victories of the past. The victory is as special as winning against Australia in the 1983 World Cup, against England in the 1992 World Cup and beating India and South Africa in the 1999 World Cup.  

Zimbabwe were lucky this time that they won the toss and utilized the early spice in the pitch. It however does not take anything from them that they bowled very well.  Bradly Evans and Ngarva bowled very tight lines but it was Ryan Burl’s special spell which broke Australia’s back. The batting allrounder took 5 wickets for just 10 Runs as Australia collapsed from 129-5 to 141 all out .

The task was half complete as chasing even a modest score of 142 against a quality Australian attack was not easy.  When Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Tadiwanashe Marumani gave Zimbabwe a solid start the chase looked on course but then Australian bowlers led by Josh Hazlewood knocked the top order in quick time. At 77-5, it looked that Zimbabwe  might lose the golden opportunity to register the rare win.

It was then captain Regis Chakabva took the responsibility to take the team home. With a valuable innings of 37* and support of  Tony Munyonga and Ryal Burl, he ensured that Zimbabwe doesn’t mess up with the chase.

It was fitting that he was at the other end when Zimbabwe created history .

The win is not only historical but crucial to the fact that it might give the side much needed confidence and more importantly regular games against top teams.

In recent times Zimbabwe have slided behind their junior counterparts like Afghanistan and Bangladesh and with Ireland and Netherlands also challenging them it was important that they start picking their game up before they were left far behind.

In the last one and half months they have shown remarkable improvement under new coach Dave Houghton. The former captain has motivated the players to perform better with bigger picture insight.

He wants Zimbabwe to be competitive and perform consistently and hope that they would be able to play more games against top teams. 

Something which might be difficult even after this win.

Teams like Australia, England and India have seldom tried to play against Zimbabwe. India invited Zimbabwe for a series last time in 2001-02 ( 20 years ago).

England have never invited them since 2003 (19 Years)  for a bilateral series while Australia invited them for a series in 2022 after a gap of 19 years (2003-04). 

In such a scenario we can only hope that the big teams and other senior members of the International Cricket fraternity give continuous chances to teams like Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland.


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