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CRICKET WORLD CUP 2003
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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 17:07 GMT

Fletcher flays Australia

Zimbabwe celebrate victory Zimbabwe upset the odds on their World Cup debut.

Never before, and in all probability never again, has a team made such an immediate impact at the World Cup.

Zimbabwe had never played an official one-day international before, let alone participated in cricket's premier tournament.

In stark contrast, their Australian opponents had a grand total of 476 one-day appearances between them.

But Zimbabwe had no regard for reputation and came on the scene with a bang in 1983, beating Australia by 13 runs.

Duncan Fletcher starred with both bat and ball, the true cliche of a captain leading from the front.

He came to the wicket following Dave Houghton's golden duck, the second time in the match that a brace of wickets had fallen without the score moving on following Dennis Lillee's dismissal of the openers.



MATCH FACTS
And within 15 minutes of Fletcher's arrival at the crease another wicket had fallen.

But together with Kevin Curran the skipper stopped the slump.

A partnership of 70 put Zimbabwe back on the right track, before Fletcher and Iain Butchart added 75 to help the debutants to a total of 239.

Like Zimbabwe, Australia also lost their opening two wickets in quick succession.

They were rocking at 63 for two after captain Kim Hughes departed for a duck and Fletcher, who took those wickets, claimed another quick brace to leave Australia reeling at 133 for four.

That soon became 138 for five when Kepler Wessels was run out.

Rod Marsh showed his battling qualities in a losing cause with 50 off 42 balls, but the win was always beyond him and the rest of the tail.



It set the standard at the opening of a World Cup of shocks which culminated with the biggest of all - India's victory over the West Indies at Lord's.

For Zimbabwe, that opening win was as good as it got.

Not only did they lose their next five matches in England, they had to wait until the final match of the 1992 World Cup for a second one-day victory.



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