HARARE, Zimbabwe: Some brutal hitting by Australia's batsmen powered them to a ground-record 350-6 against Zimbabwe in the opening game of the triangular one-day international series at Harare Sports Club on Monday.
Glenn Maxwell smashed 93 from just 46 balls with nine fours and five sixes and Mitchell Marsh thumped 89 off 83 balls with seven fours and four sixes. They blitzed Zimbabwe's bowlers in a damaging fourth-wicket stand of 109 from only 54 deliveries.
Opener Aaron Finch earlier made 67 in a 98-run opening partnership with Brad Haddin (46) as Australia cashed in on a slow pitch against Zimbabwe's ineffective bowling attack.
Australia was missing captain Michael Clarke to a hamstring injury and left out in-form batsman Phil Hughes but still scored the highest ODI total ever at the Harare ground, beating Zimbabwe's 340-2 against Namibia in 2003.
With Maxwell and Marsh rampant, Australia plundered 147 off the last 10 overs as it rained boundaries in the first game of the three-team series that also involves South Africa. The Australians made a big impact in their first international in Zimbabwe in 10 years.
Maxwell played a series of brilliantly inventive shots, including a switch-hit for six off spinner Sean Williams. His half-century came up off just 28 balls. Marsh accelerated rapidly at the end of his innings and both batsmen looked certain to make centuries before they both holed out going for another massive hit. Marsh was caught down at long-on and Maxwell sent a towering shot high into the air that was caught superbly by Tino Mawoyo near the boundary.
Mitchell Johnson added some late impetus with his 20 from 10 balls, including a straight six that smashed into the front window of a television commentary box and sent the commentators ducking for cover.
Tendai Chatara's 2-77 was the best return for Zimbabwe's battered bowlers.