So far, there have been five instances of a Zimbabwean bowler taking six wickets in an innings in ODI cricket, besides an instance of a bowler taking five wickets while conceding less than ten runs. On that note, we look at the six best returns by Zimbabwean bowlers in this format.
6/19 by Henry Olonga v England, Cape Town, 1999-00
This was the fourth match of a tri-series that also involved hosts South Africa, and it resulted in Zimbabwe’s sixth win in eight ODIs against England. After Neil Johnson’s 97 guided Zimbabwe to 211/7, Olonga rocked the English top order, taking the first five wickets to leave the score tottering at 47/5. The fast bowler later completed his six-wicket haul by taking the final wicket, as England were bundled out for just 107.
6/20 by Bryan Strang v Bangladesh, Nairobi, 1997-98
Bryan Strang became the first Zimbabwean to take six wickets in an ODI during this tri-series fixture at the Aga Khan Sports Club, bettering the haul of 5/21 by his brother Paul against Kenya at the 1996 World Cup. The left-arm medium pacer wrought havoc as Bangladesh chased 285, taking the first six wickets to reduce to the score to a dire 38/6. Strang’s effort led Zimbabwe to their then biggest victory margin of 192 runs.
6/28 by Henry Olonga v Kenya, Bulawayo, 2002-03
At 106/3 with captain Steve Tikolo and Maurice Odumbe in the middle, Kenya were moving towards a solid position. However, after playing a part in the run-out of Tikolo, the Zambia-born Olonga grabbed the last six wickets, which fell for the addition of just 27 runs. He thus became the second bowler after Waqar Younis to take two six-wicket hauls in ODIs. Zimbabwe won by nine wickets, giving them a 3-0 series sweep.
6/46 by Graeme Cremer v Kenya, Harare, 2009-10
Facing a target of 264 in this second of a five-match series, Kenya were 57/0 when off-spinner Prosper Utseya opened the floodgates. At the other end, leg-spinner Cremer took charge, and kept striking at regular intervals to bowl Zimbabwe to an 86-run win. With this haul, he became the second Zimbabwean spinner after Paul Strang to take five wickets in an ODI innings. He has three ODI fifers, the most for Zimbabwe.
6/52 by Chris Mpofu v Kenya, Nairobi, 2008-09
Mpofu bowled his heart out in this third match of a tri-series (that also involved Ireland) at the Gymkhana Club Ground but could not prevent Kenya from registering a convincing 95-run win, their fourth against Zimbabwe in 21 ODIs. The hosts rode on a knock of 102 from their dependable skipper Tikolo, even as Mpofu played his part in keeping the total to 285/9. Zimbabwe then fell to 84/4, and never really recovered.
5/6 by Luke Jongwe v Afghanistan, Sharjah, 2015-16
Trailing the five-match series 2-0, Zimbabwe needed a win to stay alive. They had a woeful start before Hamilton Masakadza (83) and Cremer (58) staged a recovery from the depths of 49/7 to 175. It eventually proved enough, as Afghanistan were shot out for their lowest total of 58 in just 16.1 overs. Jongwe’s eye-popping haul was the seventh instance of a bowler taking five wickets while conceding less than ten runs in an ODI.