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Saturday, September 3, 2022

Ryan Burl and Zimbabwe create history at Townsville

Not sure you would remember this – in June 2021,   cricketer Ryan Burl posted an image of his ripped shoes on his official Twitter handle, stating that after every series, they require to be fixed with glue !  and asked for sponsorship for his national team so that the players would not have to glue the shoes back every time a series gets over.  Puma sports  responded immediately  on twitter stating : Express shipment for @ryanburl3 and his mates.  It was a nice gesture from Puma .. .. and that man is in news today !!  

Townsville is a city on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia.  The city is a major industrial centre, home to one of the world's largest zinc refineries, a nickel refinery and many other similar activities.  Popular attractions include "The Strand", a long tropical beach and garden strip; Riverway, a riverfront parkland attraction located on the banks of Ross River; Reef HQ, a large tropical aquarium holding many of the Great Barrier Reef's native flora and fauna; the Museum of Tropical Queensland, built around a display of relics from the sunken British warship HMS Pandora; and more .. .. another Tourist paradise, in which tourists Zimbabweans are basking in happiness.  

Every Indians would remember and cherish those glorious moment of Prudential Cup 1983 and also would recall that epic knock of Kapil Dev 175* against Zimbabwe after they were 17/5  - exactly 9 days earlier at Nottingham, Zimbabwe had created history.  It was the Nation’s first official international match and they succeeded in their very first attempt.  It was a young raw team   apart from John Traicos who had played for South Africa in three Tests against Australia in 1969/70, nobody had played at that level before. 

Those following Zimbabwe Cricket would for sure remember this man born in 1948 at Harare who actually devised Car registration system there, captained the team  in 1983 and went to become Coach of England and India too.  He became the first foreigner to coach England in 1999 after a successful spell coaching Glamorgan.  

On 9th June 1983  when Curran, Duncan  debuted alongwith the Nation Zimbabwe, at Trent Bridge, Nottingham – it was a match, which Australians would love to forget.  Batting first the minnows made 239;  Kevin Curran made 27 –   Duncan Fletcher captaining them – made 69 off 84 balls.  Those were 60 overs aside;  the situation and the game was played  was much different than what you comprehend from present day T20.   Dennis Lillee had figures of 12-1-47-2 and Jeoff Thomson 11-1-46-0. Chasing 240 in 360 deliveries,  Australians crawled making 226 for 7 in 60 overs at rate of 3.76 runs per over !   Traicos, the offie had figures of 12-2-27-0.   When Fletcher eventually dismissed Wood after an opening partnership of 61, to a fine catch at the wicket by Houghton, and Kim Hughes fell immediately, the Zimbabweans  won by 13 runs.  

Thus far,  Zimbabwe have played 32 ODIs against Aussies and won one another match other than that 1983  - a No result, losing balance 29. Today  Zimbabwe beat Australia in ODI at Townsville – the  win is a huge moment in international cricket, their first win against Australia since 2014 and just the third in their history over the cricket powerhouse.  Zimbabwe have recorded their first ODI victory in Australia to stun the hosts by three wickets in the final match of their bi-lateral series, as leg-spinner Ryan Burl took 5-10 early for Zimbabwe to roll Australia for just 141. 

Today’s historic win at  Townsville is  their first victory against Australia in Australia in any format. Before this win, Zimbabwe had lost 12 ODIs and two Tests against Australia in Australia, while another ODI ended in a washout. Leg spinner Ryan Burl collected remarkable figures of 5 for 10 in three overs after the seamers had done early damage before Zimbabwe overcame Josh Hazlewood's three-wicket burst and some late nerves to get home by three wickets. Captain Regis Chakabva nursed them towards the winning line, firstly with Tony Munyonga then with bowling hero Burl who brought the requirement into single figures with a six over deep midwicket against Adam Zampa off what was the seventh ball of the over. Burl fell in the next over to Mitchell Starc, as he became the fastest to 200 ODI wickets, but that was the final drama with Brad Evans driving the winning runs.  

Australia's innings was dominated by David Warner who made 94 out of 141 - the second-highest percentage for a completed men's ODI innings - with the only other double-figure score coming from Glenn Maxwell as they were skittled in 31 overs.  For the first time in the series, Zimbabwe had the chance to bowl first and they made the most of it.  Ryan Burl needed just 18 balls  to complete his five-wicket haul - the second fewest deliveries taken for a five-for in men's ODIs since 2001. Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas had taken a five-wicket haul in 16 balls against against Bangladesh in the 2003 World Cup. The victory was not without some late drama, with Aaron Finch’s side burning their reviews — a factor that looked to prove costly when Burl (11 off 17) survived a huge appeal for caught-behind off Mitchell Starc.  Burl fell moments later as Starc took his 200th ODI wicket, but the blown chance summed up Finch’s miserable day. 

Today, Warner’s 94 runs accounted for 66.66 per cent of Australia’s 141 - the second-highest percentage ever for a completed men’s ODI innings, only behind Viv Richards in 1984. Glenn Maxwell (19) was the only other Australian to reach double figures. Zimbabwe’s another win came at Harare in Aug 2014 in Triangular Series when Elton Chigumbara was the Man of the Match. 

Interesting ! – a great moment for Zimbabwean Cricket.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
3rd Sept 2022 

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