Mitchell Starc took three early wickets to help restrict Zimbabwe to 96 runs and Steve Smith posted an unbeaten 47 as Australia won the second One-Day International by eight wickets on Wednesday and clinched the three-match series.
Starc (three for 24) bowled three wides in a wild opening over but quickly recovered his line and length to remove the top order and have Zimbabwe reeling at 14 for three.
Allrounder Cameron Green held an outfield catch to remove Zimbabwe’s top scorer — Sean Williams for 29 off 45 deliveries — off Adam Zampa’s bowling and then took two wickets.
Leg-spinner Zampa took the last two wickets as Zimbabwe was dismissed inside 28 overs.
“I thought it was clinical by all the bowlers — the tone set by Starc and Hazlewood at the top of the innings was outstanding,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said. “Cam Green, the two spinners, it couldn’t have gone more to plan today.”
It went completely against plans for Zimbabwe.
Skipper Regis Chakabva commended the way his Zimbabwe bowling attack went out to try and defend a meagre total but said the batting was disappointing.
“The Aussies bowled really well at us. Really used the wicket well,” he said in a post-match TV interview. “We just didn’t get any of our guys getting any real starts.
“The first game went really well — today, lots of things to take from it, and keep learning.”
Richard Ngarava removed openers David Warner (13) and Finch (1) in the third over to have Australia in trouble at 16 for two before Smith and Alex Carey (26) combined in an unbeaten 84-run third-wicket partnership to secure victory with 212 deliveries to spare.
Australia won the series-opening match by five wickets with 99 balls to spare. The third match will be played Saturday, also in Townsville.
The series is being played in northern Queensland state as part of the International Cricket Council’s Super League competition for ODIs. Both teams are preparing for the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup which starts in Australia on October 16.
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