Zimbabwe's five most memorable ODI cricket moments
#4. Shocking Australia with a 13 run win at 1983 World Cup
The 1983 World Cup was a huge moment for Zimbabwe. To feature in their maiden World Cup tournament, the Zimbabwean players worked in bakeries and as bouncers in casinos as grim financial issues meant they had a tight budget.
Duncan Fletcher, Zimbabwe’s captain was too serious about the tournament and roped in a rugby and a baseball coach to make his team physically fit and strong.
The end result of these sterling efforts was five defeats in six games in the tournament. However, the silver lining for the African nation was their 13-run victory against Australia which is regarded as one of the biggest upsets in international cricket.
Australia was a formidable team that included players like Denis Lillee, Jeff Thompson, Allan Border and Rod Marsh. On the contrary, Zimbabwe was an assembled unit of cricketers who were passionate about the game but had little experience of professional cricket.
Surprisingly, this assembled unit withstood the Aussie bowling attack and scored 239 runs in 60 overs. Fletcher scored 69 not out and tagged with the lower order batsmen to reach a respectable total.
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Kepler Wessels gave Australia a solid start and at one stage, they were firmly placed at two down for 114. But then Fletcher once again got into the act and wrecked Australia’s middle order. The unfortunate run-out of Wessels when he was on 76 further derailed the chase and Zimbabwe cashed in on the opening.
Marsh counter-attacked with a fifty of just 42 balls but he ran out of partners and overs as Zimbabwe restricted Australia to 226 runs.
Fletcher was the star performer. He scored a fifty and also picked up four wickets.
The bouncers and the bakers with training in rugby and baseball had done the unthinkable by defeating Australia by 13 runs.