U19 Men's World Cup: All-round Australia thrash Zimbabwe for a dominant win

January 25, 2024
Harry Dixon and Hugh Weibgen scored half-centuries and Tom Campbell went berserk in the final few overs as Australia put up a tall total before the bowlers

Kimberley, Jan 25 (IANS) Harry Dixon and Hugh Weibgen scored half-centuries and Tom Campbell went berserk in the final few overs as Australia put up a tall total before the bowlers produced another brilliant performance and bowled out Zimbabwe for 71 in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 on Thursday.

With its top order firing on all cylinders Australia posted 296/7 in 50 overs and then Harkirat Bajwa claimed four wickets for 15 runs in 7.2 overs as Zimbabwe were bundled out for 71 runs in 23.2 overs.

Opting to bat first in Kimberley, which had notably produced low-scoring games in the tournament so far, Australia got off to a promising start in the Powerplay.

Harry Dixon and Sam Konstas reeled off seven boundaries in the first 10 overs, mixing caution with good intent.

The first breakthrough didn’t come until the 19th over when off-spinner Brendon Sunguro came around the wicket to the right-handed Konstas and cleaned him up by piercing the gap between bat and pad. Hugh Weibgen, who had played a key role in Australia’s win over Namibia in a low-scoring affair earlier in the week at the same venue, walked in and teamed up with Dixon to pile on the runs.

Boundaries flooded for Australia post-Konstas’ dismissal as Dixon and Weibgen took the attack to Zimbabwe. Dixon looked set for a hundred, but Sunguro returned to bowl him for 89 to give Zimbabwe a wicket against the run of play.

Harjas Singh was run out soon after and Ryan Simbi dismissed Weibgen after he made a run-a-ball 68.

With Ryan Hicks and Aidan O’Connor dismissed soon after, Zimbabwe had made a comeback of sorts, but any hope of restricting the Aussies in the death overs was quashed by Tom Campbell. His cameo helped Australia smash 45 runs off the last three overs, including 21 in the final over. Campbell finished unbeaten on 47 off 28 balls as Australia made 296/7 in 50 overs.

The Aussies came out all guns blazing with the ball, reducing Zimbabwe to 3 for 3 inside the first three overs. Mahli Beardman took the new ball this game, unlike the last, and made an instant impact with two wickets in his opening over. Charlie Anderson bowled Campbell MacMillan in the next over as three of the top four batters fell for a duck.

Just as Zimbabwe were trying to consolidate, a run-out brought another wicket for Australia as the impressive Konstas produced a direct hit that caught Nathaniel Hlabangana short. Ronak Patel and Sunguro rebuilt for Zimbabwe, but Harkirat Bajwa’s mystery spin kept the run-scoring on a leash. O’Connor soon reaped the benefits at the other end as Sunguro fell for 12.

It was the opening Bajwa needed, and the spinner snared the next three wickets to leave Zimbabwe on the brink of a loss. O’Connor sent back Patel, the only batter to offer some resistance, for 36 and Bajwa took the final wicket to finish with figures of 4/15.

Australia, like Sri Lanka, now have two wins in two games in Group C. Zimbabwe will now play Namibia in a virtual eliminator in the final game of the group.

Brief scores:

Australia 296/7 in 50 overs (Harry Dixon 89, Hugh Weibgen 68, Tom Campbell 47*; Matthew Schonken 2-65, Brandon Sunguro 2-48, Ryan Simbi 2-53) beat Zimbabwe 71 all out in 23.2 overs (Ronak Patel 36; Harkirat Bajwa 4-15, Aidan O’Connor 2-17, Mahli Beardman 2-7) by 225 runs.


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