Zimbabwe head coach Dave Houghton has said the unflattering performance of his slow bowlers had forced him to have a stern chat with them ahead of the third and final One-day International (ODI) against Australia here, adding that he was happy to see they had lived up to his expectations.
Following two big losses, Zimbabwe spinners, especially Ryan Burl, turned things around in the third game, demolishing the hosts for a paltry 141 and then overhauling the target for the loss of seven wickets with 11 overs to spare for a historic win.
This was Zimbabwe’s maiden ODI win against Australia in Australia and was built mainly around spinner Burl’s amazing figures of 5/10 in three overs.
Burl, a part-time leg-spinner, was the sixth bowler Zimbabwe skipper Regis Chakabva used in Australia’s innings of 141. The 28-year-old Burl was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his exploits.
Before he turned the match on its head on Saturday, Burl had taken just nine wickets from his 31 ODIs, according to cricket.com.au. He had taken three wickets in the opening game of the three-match series here but had conceded 60 at runs at an average of 8.5 rpo.
“I had a chat with our spinners today because I wasn’t happy with the way we’d bowled in the first two games,” Houghton was quoted as saying post-match on Saturday.
“I didn’t want our spinners to be bits and pieces’ cricketers. I want them to bowl like spinners, which means you have to be on the spot from ball one.
“And I thought both Sean (Williams) and ‘Burly’ (Burl) did that today,” added Houghton.
Burl said the pitch offered a lot of assistance to him in the third ODI.
“I was bowling quite a lot into the wind (so) it came out a bit slower,” Burl told Foxtel. “I found today there was quite a bit of drift, which helped, and also a bit of turn, which helped a lot. I wouldn’t have believed it, but here we are.”