The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Australia eyeing massive win

Perth, Oct. 11 (AFP): Zimbabwe were facing a massive defeat against Australia after a feeble batting effort on the third day of the first Test on Saturday.

Replying to Australia’s first-innings total of 735 for six declared, the tourists were dismissed for 239 in the first innings. Following on 496 runs in arrears, the visitors were 87 for two at stumps.

Mark Vermeulen (50) and Stuart Carlisle (26) are the men at the crease who will resume the uphill battle on Sunday. The third-wicket pair staged a brave rearguard action late in the day, adding 76 in 92 minutes. Vermeulen has struck nine fours in a stay of almost two hours.

Zimbabwe were helped in the final session when Jason Gillespie and Stuart MacGill, were forced off the field with injuries. Gillespie has what an official described as a “mild discomfort” in the left side. MacGill has a calf problem. There were no indications whether either would be able to bowl on the fourth day.

Zimbabwe face the prospect of one of the heaviest defeats in the history of Test cricket. They have avoided the ignominy of suffering the biggest loss in the sport — Australia’s innings-and-579-run mauling by England at The Oval in 1938. The second biggest thrashing was Australia’s innings-and-360-run victory over South Africa in Johannesburg in 2001-02.

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