Having restricted the hosts to 151/9 in their 20 overs, Maxwell and Travis Head (48) added 103 in just 71 deliveries for the fourth wicket to lead the chase. A few late wickets did make Australia stutter towards the close, but Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar knocked off the seven runs needed in the final over to help Australia warm up for the final against Pakistan on Sunday in style.
Aaron Finch admitted it got a little tense in the end but is confident his side will be up and ready come the final.
“I thought they bowled well towards the end and shows the value of having a set batsman at the end,” Finch said after the win. “I think it is important to get some time in the middle, get batting rhythm. They are hitting the balls well in training but nothing compares to match practices.”
The Australian captain also lauded the efforts of his bowlers after they restricted Zimbabwe to under 160. “The bowling was very good, we restricted Zimbabwe 15-20 runs short of what they'd have liked. We've been working up so far and hopefully we peak in the final.”
Tye was once again the lynchpin of the Australian bowling attack. The pacer has been exceptional for the visitors in the middle stages, varying his pace and his length. His latest three-for ensured Zimbabwe never quite got away.
The 31-year-old is comfortably the leading wicket-taker this series with 12 wickets in four outings.
“It's something I've been working on, taking wickets at crucial times," said a happy Tye. "I've got lucky in this series, taking wickets in the death and stopping teams when they want more runs. Good that we got the win today, hopefully as a team we get a win on Sunday too.
“I just try to adapt to every batsman because they're all different. We've had a few troubles but I think we're saving our best for the last.”
After a rather timid start to the series, Zimbabwe came back in the final two games well. They ran Pakistan close in the earlier game on Tuesday and then got Australia thinking in the end overs in the last game.
With the bat, at one stage they looked like posting in excess of 160, but lost wickets at crucial junctures. Solomon Mire waged a lone hand again, cracking a 52-ball 63, but found little support at the end bar in the form of Peter Moor.
“We fought well and took it to the end, which was good. The wicket played slower than expected and we couldn't quite kick on in the end even though we had a good partnership in the middle,” said Hamilton Masakadza, their captain.
“We spoke about coming back from the first two games and the guys expressing themselves and I think Mire did that brilliantly. We are on the up now and I'm sure we'll keep getting better.”
First Published: July 7, 2018, 8:44 AM IST