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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 January, 2004, 09:08 GMT
Rain ruins Melbourne match
VB Series, Match 10, Melbourne: Australia 263-9 (50 overs) v Zimbabwe - No result (rain)

VB SERIES TABLE
Michael Bevan
Australia P7 W5 L1 NR1
Pts 31 RR 0.92
India P6 W4 L2 NR0
Pts 23 RR 0.35
Zimbabwe P7 W0 L6 NR1
Pts 6 RR -1.19
Zimbabwe were deprived of the chance to reply to Australia's 263-9 as rain forced the abandonment of the VB Series match in Melbourne.

The no result means the teams share the spoils, taking winless Zimbabwe's tally to six points from seven games.

Australia made a useful total after being put into bat with Michael Bevan top-scoring with 56.

But it was confirmed after the game that the left-hander will miss the rest of the series with a fractured rib.

Bevan aggravated an injury he picked up after being hit in the ribs in the Adelaide nets last weekend.

X-rays confirmed he had cracked the fifth rib on his right side, placing him in doubt for the one-day series in Sri Lanka in March.

The left-hander steadied the ship after the first five wickets fell for 155, while Andy Bichel and Brad Haddin also made useful contributions.

Damien Martyn, who was under pressure to retain his place after scoring 78 runs in his first six innings of the series, dominated an opening stand of 59 with Matthew Hayden.

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak struck in the 11th over when he had Martyn lbw for 42 off 40 balls.

Hayden was bowled by paceman Douglas Hondo for 23 after a 21-minute rain delay, and debutant Blessing Mahwire took his maiden wicket in his third over, bowling Michael Clarke for 11.

Streak used left-arm spinners Grant Flower and Ray Price in a bid to restrict the flow of boundaries.

A frustrated Ian Harvey was run out for 23 and Bevan joined captain Ricky Ponting at 139-4 with four bowlers and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin to come.

Ponting (35) tried to lift the scoring rate but he was caught by Mahwire off Price in the 32nd over.

But Haddin hit 32 off 46 balls before playing on to a slower ball from Streak (2-47) after putting on 58 for the sixth wicket with Bevan.

Andy Bichel also provided valuable runs, punching a six over mid-wicket from the final ball of the innings to finish unbeaten on 23.

The drizzle that fell towards the end of Australia's innings got heavier during the break, leaving Zimbabwe with just one more chance to register their first win of the tournament.

Australia play India in Perth on Sunday, before the two visiting teams lock horns two days later in the final round-robin fixture.


Australia: Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn, Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Bevan, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin (wkt), Ian Harvey, Brad Hogg, Andy Bichel, Brett Lee, Brad Williams.

Zimbabwe: Grant Flower, Tatenda Taibu (wkt), N B Mahwire, Stuart Carlisle, Sean Ervine, Heath Streak (captain), Dion Ebrahim, Vusi Sibanda, Andy Blignaut, Ray Price, Douglas Hondo..

Umpires: R E Koertzen and P D Parker.




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