Zimbabwe head coach Dave Houghton said his team is “over the moon” after defeating Australia for the first time in a One-Day International on their own home soil.
They had already lost the series but managed to pull off a massive upset in the third ODI on Saturday (September 3). In their first bilateral visit to Australia in nearly 20 years, Zimbabwe have finally won an ODI after 13 failed attempts.
Thanks to Ryan Burl’s maiden five-wicket haul, Zimbabwe bundled out Australia for 141 runs and then managed to chase it down with three wickets to spare. Not just that, they also beat Bangladesh in a T20I and ODI series and then almost got the better of India in the final ODI of the three-match series.
"We're over the moon. We don't get to beat the big sides that often and to beat them in their country is a huge plus for us and our cricket at the moment," said Houghton.
"I hope it goes a lot way towards providing that (more games). There's a bit of good cricket coming up for us over the next six months, but it would be nice to get involved in tours to the bigger countries.
“The more wins we can get on tours like this, the more our chances are that we might get some bigger opponents on a regular basis."
Zimbabwe will be back in Australia in close to three weeks for the T20 World Cup Qualifiers, and Houghton knows there's a lot of work that needs to be done if they want to compete with the top sides on a regular basis.
"I still think the gulf is huge. I'll be honest, if we'd lost the toss today I think we'd have seen a game similar to the second game when you are looking at it from a completely different angle. We'd struggle to beat your state sides on a good day.
"We are growing and hopefully we grow quite quickly with the amount of cricket we are beginning to get and the fact we are getting a few results like this.
“It's really good in enforcing what we are trying to do with the team, the tactics and the skills they have. Because there's nothing worse than working really hard at something and getting absolutely no reward. It's nice to get these little reward top ups to show the guys what they are doing is right."
Houghton wasn't really impressed with the way his spinners performed in the first two ODIs. "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."