Gillespie, Clarke shine as Australia wrap up series

Jason Gillespie's five-wicket haul and Michael Clarke's maiden century steered Australia to an easy eight-wicket victory over Zimbabwe.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Harare:Jason Gillespie's five-wicket haul and Michael Clarke's maiden century steered Australia to an easy eight-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the third one-day international cricket match at Harare Sports Club today. Gillespie's five for 32 and Clarke's 105 not out in 102 balls helped Australia wrap up the series of three matches 3-0 without the need to raise their game out of low gear. Australia scored 199 for two in 30.4 overs in reply to Zimbabwe's 196 all out in 48.5, ending a week for the tourists which tended to feature more golf and wildlife than cricket. In completing the one-sided series -- rescheduled after the test series was canceled -- World Cup champion Australia mirrored Sri Lanka's romp earlier this month. It was Zimbabwe's 10th successive defeat in 10 matches since 15 leading players began a boycott almost two months ago over selection policy. "We are having a week off when we get home and then it's preparations for Sri Lanka," Australian captain Ricky Ponting said. "I was really delighted for Michael Clarke on getting his first international century." Clarke hit the winning runs with his 16th boundary. He raised his century in 97 balls, the second 50 off 29 balls in his 28th ODI match for Australia. He is yet to play for the Test side. Clarke and Shane Watson, unbeaten on 18, shared an unbroken stand of 84. Gillespie was named man of the match and series. Gillespie's third career five-wicket bag helped hand Zimbabwe a dreadful start. It was 10 for three thanks to Gillespie's venomous accuracy and Michael Kasprowicz, and slumped to 61 for six. But a spirited 114-run partnership by Elton Chigumbura and Mluleki Nkala rescued their side. Both batsmen scored personal bests. Chigumbura's 77 from just 90 balls included two sixes and 10 fours. Nkala made a spirited supporting 47. Brad Hogg also got into the wickets with three for 37. Opener Adam Gilchrist gave Australia's chase a boost with 44 in 27 balls. In the ninth over, he hit Tawanda Mpariwa for 4-6-4-4 then played on the next ball and was bowled middle stump at 68 for one. Andrew Symonds (20) helped Clarke add 47 for the second wicket before mistimed a delivery from Mpariwa (2-48), then Clarke and Watson guided Australia to its expected victory. (AP)

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