Australia beat Zimbabwe by 148 runs

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Australia have beaten Zimbabwe by 148 runs in the VB Tri-Series one day international match at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart today.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Australia have beaten Zimbabwe by 148 runs in the VB Tri-Series one day international match at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart today. The African batsmen staggered right from the beginning as Brett Lee and Brad Williams ripped through their batting order, getting them to nick deliveries to Adam Gilchrist. At the end of 50 overs, Zimbabwe could make only 196 runs, with the loss of 6 wickets. Skipper Heath Streak scored an unbeaten 64 but the Africans could only manage to cross the half-way mark of a target of 345. Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist has been awarded the Man of the Match. Gilchrist shines Earlier, Aussie opener Adam Gilchrist struck a swashbuckling 172 as Australia piled a mammoth 344 for seven against Zimbabwe. Gilchrist hit his tenth one-day century off just 126 balls with 13 fours and three sixes as Australia made the most of a perfect batting track at the Bellerive Oval. It was Australia's highest score against Zimbabwe and the highest at the Tasmanian ground. The left-handed Gilchrist also passed the personal milestone of 6,000 runs in the shorter version of the game when he reached 150 in his innings. Gilchrist's 172 was the second highest one-day score by an Australian after Mark Waugh's 173 against the West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2000-01. The Australian vice-captain shared a record 140-run opening stand with Matthew Hayden who dominated the partnership with a 75-ball 63 that contained five fours. Their association was the best for Australia against the African nation. Opening the attack Gilchrist and Hayden began unconvincingly after captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat. Both were intent on attacking the Zimbabwe bowlers from the outset but were in too much of a hurry to play proper shots. Still the hundred came in the 16th over with the batsmen flourishing through some bad bowling and fielding. Gilchrist was dropped on 36 by Douglas Hondo and the Zimbabweans paid dearly for the error. Gilchrist exploded after the departure of Hayden, who fell mistiming an on-drive against Heath Streak for a simple catch to Vusi Sibanda at mid-on. Gilchrist's century surprisingly had only six fours and a six but it come off only 89 balls. After crossing the three-figure mark, however, the buccaneering batsman opened his shoulders to play some exhilarating shots. In between, Ponting (37) survived a stumping chance off Raymond Price but failed to capitalise as he lofted Grant Flower straight to Matsikenyeri at long-off. The momentum, however, was maintained by the free-wheeling Gilchrist. Australia's 200 came in the 34th over and the next hundred in another 61 balls. Flurry of wickets But the flow slowed down drastically after the dismissal of the opening batsman, bowled by Ervine (2-65) while going for the slog. Andrew Symonds (0) was run out off the first ball he faced, and Streak caught Michael Bevan (7) to give Ervine his second wicket. The Zimbabwe captain then removed Michael Clarke (0) and Andy Bichel (0) in three balls to puncture the fast rolling Australian wheel. Damien Martyn (47 no) kept the scoreboard ticking at the other end but the flurry of wickets stopped Autralia from reaching the 350-mark. Teams: Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn, Andrew Symonds, Michael Bevan, Andy Bichel, Michael Clarke, Brad Williams, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee. Zimbabwe: Heath Streak (captain), Vusimuzi Sibanda, Dion Ebrahim, Mark Vermeulen, Grant Flower, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tatenda Taibu, Sean Ervine, Andy Blignaut, Ray Price, Douglas Hondo.
(With PTI inputs)

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