Glenn Maxwell's half-century helps Australia edge Zimbabwe in tight T20 contest

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Maxwell's 58-run innings helped Australia to a five-wicket win.

Australia edged hosts Zimbabwe by five wickets in a hard-fought dead rubber clash in the T20 tri-series at Harare on Friday.

After having restricted Zimbabwe to 151-9 in their 20 overs, the Aussies chased down the total with one ball to spare to complete their third win in four matches in the tournament.

Glenn Maxwell was the hero with the bat for Australia with the right-handed batsman slamming a 36-ball 58 in his side’s successful run chase. Maxwell’s crucial innings included five sixes and a boundary.

Earlier, Solomon Mire was in good touch with the bat once again for the hosts after his career-best 94 in Zimbabwe’s previous loss to Pakistan. The opener struck a 52-ball 63 on Friday to lead his side’s charge.

Mire struck his second successive fifty on Friday.

Mire struck his second successive fifty on Friday.

However, three wickets for seamer Andrew Tye and two-a-piece for Billy Stanlake and Jhy Richardson ensured that Zimbabwe could only muster 151-9 after electing to bat first.

Australia’s chase got off to the worst possible start with skipper Aaron Finch and Alex Carey dismissed inside the first five overs. Maxwell then took control of the chase with his counter-attacking innings but his dismissal at the hands of Blessing Muzarabani triggered a late collapse for the Aussies who lost three further wickets in as many overs following his departure.

It took an unbeaten cameo of 12 (7) from all-rounder Marcus Stoinis to get the Aussies over the finish line in the penultimate delivery of the match.

Australia and Pakistan will now lock horns in the final of the tri-series to be held on Sunday.

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England all-rounder Chris Woakes set to return from injury layoff with appearance for Warwickshire's 2nd XI

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Woakes is set to play as a batsman for Warwickshire's 2nd XI next week.

Chris Woakes is set to return to action next week after making “good progress” with the knee injury which ruled him out since last month’s Headingley Test.

Woakes is one of England‘s three frontline Test seamers currently on the sidelines but preparing for a comeback in time for the five-match series which begins against India on his home ground at Edgbaston on August 1.

In a brief lunchtime statement on Friday, the England and Wales Cricket Board said Woakes is on target to return as a specialist batsman only in a Warwickshire second XI match and then take a full part in the England Lions’ four-day fixture against India A on July 16.

A statement read: “England and Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes is making good progress on his injured right quad and knee.

“He is expected to return as a batsman in Warwickshire’s three-day 2nd XI match against Leicestershire, starting on Tuesday, July 10 at Kibworth Cricket Club.

“Woakes will also feature for the England Lions in their four-day match against India A at Worcester starting on July 16.

“He will play a full part in the match.”

Woakes’ fellow Test seamers Stuart Broad and James Anderson are preparing for imminent comebacks, too.

Broad has had injections for ligament trouble in his left ankle but hopes to be back for Nottinghamshire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Surrey on July 22.

Anderson, also missing since the Headingley Test with a longstanding problem in his bowling shoulder, is due to take part in a specially arranged second XI match for Lancashire against Nottinghamshire on July 15 – and then the Roses championship match a week later.

England are expected to announce their Test squad after the conclusion of the championship matches starting on July 22.

An update is also anticipated, meanwhile, on the fitness of all-rounder Ben Stokes – who was set to join up with England’s white-ball squad in Cardiff on Friday following his recovery from the hamstring injury which ruled him out of the Leeds Test against Pakistan.

Stokes has bruised his foot, however, after twice hitting the ball onto it while practising before his comeback in Durham’s Vitality Blast match against Yorkshire on Thursday evening.

He was still able to make an unbeaten 90 as a specialist batsman in that 44-run defeat, but plans for him to be fully available again in time for Sunday’s final T20 against India in Bristol may be on hold.

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India pacer Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of ODI series against England, to be replaced by Shardul Thakur

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Bumrah will miss the ODI series too after being ruled out of the T20s.

India seamer Jasprit Bumrah will miss the one-day international series against England after having surgery on his broken thumb.

Bumrah, who suffered the injury in India’s first Twenty20 international against Ireland, will be replaced for this month’s three ODIs by fellow pace bowler Shardul Thakur.

India are yet to name their squad for the five-match Test series against England which starts at Edgbaston on August 1.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India issued a brief statement on Bumrah’s injury and Thakur’s call-up on Friday morning.

It read: “The all-India senior selection committee has named Shardul Thakur as Jasprit Bumrah’s replacement in India’s ODI squad.

“Bumrah underwent a surgery on Wednesday, July 4 in Leeds before returning to India.

“The surgery was successful and he will commence rehabilitation under the supervision of the BCCI medical team.”

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