There was something to cheer for Australia amid the gloom of losing the third and final One-day International against Zimbabwe here on Saturday, with pace bowler Mitchell Starc claiming his 200th ODI wicket to break a 23-year-old record, and become the fastest ever to reach the milestone.
Starc, 32, has become the quickest-ever bowler to 200 ODI wickets, eclipsing the 23-year-old record set by Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq.
Playing in his 102nd ODI here, Starc dismissed tail-ender Ryan Burl when the batter spooned a catch to Cameron Green at mid-off. Starc achieved the feat in two fewer matches than the former Pakistani cricketer (104), according to cricket.com.au.
Starc has reached a double-century of wicket in fewer matches than the likes of Brett Lee (112 ODIs), the late Shane Warne (125), Mitchell Johnson (129) and Glenn McGrath (133).
Starc was also the quickest ever to 100 ODI wickets (after 52 matches) in 2016, though Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan had improved upon that mark in 2018, reaching the milestone in eight fewer games.
Zimbabwe scored a historic three-wicket victory against the Aaron Finch-led Australia, with leg-spinner Burl grabbing five wickets for just 10 runs as he brought the hosts to their knees in the third and final One-day International on Saturday.
Though Australia clinched the series 2-1, it was the manner in which the hosts capitulated which stood out, with nine of their batters scoring in single digits. Opener David Warner, with his patient 96-ball 94, helped the hosts to 141 before they were bundled out in 31 overs.
In reply, Zimbabwe notched up the required runs for the loss of seven wickets in 39 overs to record a memorable win.