21 August 201000:43

Six months to go - five classic Zimbabwe CWC matches

Here we look back at five memorable CWC matches involving Zimbabwe

Six months to go - five classic Zimbabwe CWC matches - Cricket News

Zimbabwean cricket team celebrates their victory.

After failing to claim a victory in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, Zimbabwe will be looking to make amends in 2011 - starting with their tough opener against Australia on 21 February in Ahmedabad, a team they defeated in their first-ever ICC Cricket World Cup match.

Here we look back at five memorable CWC matches involving Zimbabwe.

Debut delight

Zimbabwe enjoyed an incredible CWC baptism when they defeated Australia by 13 runs at Trent Bridge in 1983.

All-rounder Duncan Fletcher, who would go on to successfully coach England, was the man of the match with 69 not out and 4-42. Australia's pursuit of 227 floundered at the hands of spinner John Traicos, whose 12 overs cost just 27 runs.

England humbled

Zimbabwe may have only won just the one match in the 1992 CWC but it was a victory that is long-remembered in the country.

There seemed little chance of a shock result when Zimbabwe were dismissed for 134 against eventual finalists England, with captain Dave Houghton's 29 being the top score.

A good start to England's innings was crucial for the bowling side and that was duly achieved when Eddo Brandes trapped skipper Graham Gooch leg before with the first ball.

An inspired spell of bowling from Brandes (4-21) reduced England to 43-5 before another collapse - when the last five wickets fell for 30 runs - saw Zimbabwe to a nine-run win.

Olonga holds his nerve

Zimbabwe's strongest ICC CWC side took part in the 1999 tournament in England when they shocked much-vaunted opponents. A comfortable opening match victory over Kenya was followed by an incredible three-run win over India at Leicester. With India requiring nine runs from two overs, with three wickets in hand, Henry Olonga struck three times in the penultimate over to end the match in dramatic fashion. Andy Flower's 68 not out underpinned Zimbabwe's 252-9 while brother Grant earned the man of the match award thanks to 45 with the bat and a miserly 1-33 from his 10 overs with the ball.

Johnson the all-round hero

Zimbabwe claimed a highly commendable place in the Super Six phase of the 1999 World Cup thanks to a stunning 48-run victory over South Africa at Chelmsford in their final group match.

Neil Johnson's 76 was the mainstay of his team's 233-6 before the all-rounder then worked his magic with the ball as he and Heath Streak both took three wickets. At one point, South Africa were 40-6 and only half-centuries from Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener brought their side any respectability in a 48-run defeat.

Denied at the last

A topsy-turvy encounter in Jamaica in 2007 against Ireland - taking part in their first CWC match - finished in a tie to end one of the most dramatic games in the history of the competition. Zimbabwe seemed likely to stroll to victory for much of their batting chase of 222 but two collapses almost saw them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Jeremy Bray's century allowed Ireland to post a respectable 221-9 after being put in to bat. It seemed not to be enough when Zimbabwe reached 92-1 and 203-5. A second collapse then hurtled the batting team to 213-9, leaving eight from the last over just to tie. A share of the spoils was duly achieved as last pair Stuart Matsikenyeri (left stranded on 73 not out) saw his partner Ed Rainsford fail to get home for the winning run off the last ball.