Hogg puts Aussies in charge

Brad Hogg claimed three crucial wickets as Australia took command of their World Cup Pool A match with Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

Brad Hogg claimed three crucial wickets as Australia took command of their World Cup Pool A match with Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

Hogg opened up the middle order by removing dangerman Andy Flower and then followed up with the wickets of Dion Ebrahim and Doug Marillier to leave Zimbabwe 165 for six after 41 overs.

Andy Flower had looked like rescuing the innings after a double breakthrough by Jason Gillespie had given Australia the early initiative.

Flower was in fine touch as he cracked eight fours in a dangerous knock of 62 that helped his side recover from 28 for two.

He was the more aggressive partner in a stand of 84 with brother Grant that was broken by a run out in the 29th over.

Andy Flower called for two after a sweep to Glenn McGrath in the deep but Grant hesitated before setting off for the second allowing wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist time to run him out with a direct hit at the bowler’s end.

Grant’s dismissal ended a promising partnership which had come together after Gillespie had accounted for both Guy Whittall and Craig Wishart.

Grant was however the more circumspect as his left-handed brother attacked the Australian bowlers with relish.

His innings was brought to an end however when he failed to read a ball that went straight on from Hogg and was bowled.

The left-arm spinner then repeated his success to claim Ebrahim’s wicket for 15 and Marillier lasted just one ball as he miscued a sweep into the hands of Ricky Ponting.

Andy Blignaut however was not content to lie down and let the Aussies run through the order by picking up the attack and blasting his way to a quickfire unbeaten 26. Tatenda Taibu was unbeaten alongside him on 11.

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