Rain holds Aussies at bay - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rain holds Aussies at bay

By Adam Cooper 12/10/2003 08:00:07 PM Comments (0)

Rain denied Australia a massive win in the first cricket Test against Zimbabwe at the WACA Ground, with the world champions needing one wicket when play was abandoned for the day.

Zimbabwe was 9-272 in its second innings when play was called off at 5.30pm local time, still 224 runs behind Australia with one day to play.

A combination of a weakened bowling attack, the weather and some plucky lower order resistance denied Australia for over five hours after Zimbabwe lost five wickets in the first session.

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak (46 not out) and fellow tailenders Sean Ervine (53), Andy Blignaut (22) and No.11 Ray Price (17 not out) applied themselves diligently to the task of saving the match.

With more rain forecast Monday, Zimbabwe can thanks its tail if it is to pull off one of the great escape acts of recent times.

Zimbabwe made 239 in its first innings and followed on 496 runs behind Australia's mammoth first innings of 6(dec)-735.

The tourists resumed at 2-87 and Mark Vermeulen (63) and Stuart Carlisle (35) batted for the opening 50 minutes before Brett Lee had Vermeulen caught down the legside.

Carlisle went two runs later and from there it was a procession, as part-timer Darren Lehmann grabbed career best figures of 3-54.

But the tail knuckled down and Zimbabwe was given a real chance of survival when 74 minutes were lost to rain late in the day.

Streak and Price then batted out 10.3 overs before rain arrived for a second and final time.

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