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Australia host Zimbabwe at start of cricket season

By August 27, 2022August 28th, 2022Sports games

Australia gets its summer cricket season off to an early start when Zimbabwe make their first appearance for a one-day international series in the country since 2004.

The teams will play three ODIs in seven days starting on Sunday, with the remaining two games in the series scheduled for Wednesday and next Saturday in the tropical town of Townsville in north Queensland. The venue for the day’s matches will be the 10,000-seat Riverway Stadium.

Australian all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne expects the spin to play a big role in matches. He played three times at the stadium and the right-hander scored 337 runs at an average of 84.25 over five innings.

“The pitch is great. I don’t think I’ve lost here yet, I’ve got three wins from three games,” Labuschagne told the Cricket Australia website when the series kicked off. “We (Queensland State) played here last year and the track was pretty good. It came a bit early, but it was actually very good for spinners. Australia have two spinners in their squad, with Ashton Agar returning from a side injury he suffered in Sri Lanka and Adam Zampa returning to the team following the birth of his first child, Eugene. Captain Aaron Finch named a near full-strength squad on Saturday, Finch also confirmed a reshuffle of Australia’s ODI batting line-up with wicketkeeper Alex Carey elevated to No 4, with Steve Smith in the No 3 position and Mitch Marsh slipping from three to five.

Zimbabwe, who last played an ODI in Australia as part of a tri-series with India more than 18 years ago, have a number of options with spin, with the versatile Sikandar Raza , Sean Williams, Tony Munyonga and Ryan Burl likely to complement front row fast bowlers’ efforts.

Sunday’s match will be the first of 17 one-day internationals for Australia ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.

___ Lineup: Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), David Warner, Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

Zimbabwe (from): Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva (captain), Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Tony Munyonga, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams.

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