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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 December, 2004, 15:35 GMT
England clinch series clean sweep
Fourth one-day international, Bulawayo:
England 261-6 beat Zimbabwe 187 by 74 runs

England win four-match series 4-0

Geraint Jones
For the second time in the series, Jones batted with brutal brilliance

Darren Gough took 4-34 as England beat Zimbabwe by 74 runs in Bulawayo to win the one-day series 4-0.

The tourists batted first and totalled 261-6 thanks to the third-best partnership by a sixth-wicket pair in one-day international history.

Michael Vaughan and Geraint Jones put on 150 as England recovered from the precarious position of 104-5.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 187 in the 49th over with Hamilton Masakadza (66) the only man to pass fifty.

England won the toss and elected to bat first, allowing Matt Prior to showcase his talents early on.

Prior, who came into the side to give Vikram Solanki a rest, played some confident drives in a partnership of 55 for the first wicket with Ian Bell.

Zimbabwean seamer Edward Rainsford, making his first appearance of the series, claimed the first wicket when Bell mistimed a pull and was caught at mid-on.

The dismissal heralded an ungainly period for England in which they lost a further four wickets, consequently failing to accelerate their scoring rate.

Prior drove Rainsford to short mid-wicket before Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen fell in the same Stuart Matiskenyeri over.

Matsikenyeri's off-spin has been the surprise package of the series and he soon persuaded Strauss to give a catch to mid-on and Pietersen to top-edge a sweep to short fine-leg.

Darren Gough
Gough showed once again why he cannot yet be written off

Vaughan and Jones had some serious rebuilding to do and were initally cautious, especially the England captain who refused to even contemplate hitting boundaries.

Jones, however, found the fence off all three spinners, and added two mighty leg-side sixes off one of them, Brendan Taylor.

Having kept the pair in check with the turning ball, Tatenda Taibu eventually had no option but to re-introduce expensive seamers Elton Chigumbura and Mluleki Nkala, and now even Vaughan took charge.

He hit each of them for a six apiece in the closing overs, and Jones started playing every shot in the book before falling in the final over.

Vaughan ended on 90 not out, his best score in one-day internationals, with Jones clubbing 80 off just 75 balls and taking the man-of-the-match award.

Between them, they hit 54 runs off the last five overs.

Zimbabwe's innings was immediately unhinged by Gough who took two wickets in his second over - Taylor edging to Jones and Dion Ebrahim lbw playing back to a length ball.

Masakadza, who played some fine shots through the leg-side and treated Jones with contempt, then put on 75 with the becalmed Taibu.

The Essex paceman also had Matsikenyeri pouched by Jones to leave Zimbabwe 22-3 in the eighth over, and the contest was already over when Mark Vermeulen speared Simon Jones's first ball to point.

But Paul Collingwood removed both batsmen towards the end of another intelligent spell of bowling.

Gough returned to pick up one more wicket before Bell cleaned up the tail with 3-9.

There was even time for Strauss, who has never bowled for Middlesex in one-day cricket, to bowl one over of slow left-armers.


Zimbabwe: Stuart Matsikenyeri, Brendan Taylor, Tatenda Taibu (captain), Dion Ebrahim, Hamilton Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura, Mark Vermeulen, Tinashe Panyangara, Prosper Utseya, Edward Rainsford, Mluleki Nkala.

England: Michael Vaughan (captain), Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Geraint Jones, Gareth Batty, Alex Wharf, Simon Jones, Darren Gough.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England captain Michael Vaughan


Report: BBC 5 Live's Jonathan Agnew




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