Australia escape with T20 win v Zimbabwe

Oliver Caffrey

Australia have narrowly avoided an embarrassing defeat to Zimbabwe, escaping with a five-wicket win in their Twenty20 tri-series match.

Marcus Stoinis hit a four on the second last ball of the innings at Harare Sports Club for the victory.

If it weren't for Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head, Australia would've lost against the hosts, who sit 12th in the T20I world rankings behind Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Scotland.

The upset was on the cards when the pair came together at 2-26, chasing Zimbabwe's competitive total of 9-151 on Friday.

Captain Aaron Finch and promoted opener Alex Carey departed cheaply, but Maxwell (56 from 38 balls) and Head (48 from 42 balls) were patient in building an innings.

But both batsmen were dismissed with the end in sight, bringing a struggling Nic Maddinson to the crease.

He went for two, but Stoinis was joined by Ashton Agar and the pair were able to get Australia home.

"I thought that they bowled well towards the end and it just goes to show the value of an in batter and one of your top-four batsmen getting the job done," Finch said.

"We probably made a little more difficult than we had to."

Andrew Tye was again the pick of the Australian bowlers with figures of 3-28 - his fourth straight three-wicket haul.

Opening bowlers Billy Stanlake and Jhye Richardson were Australia's other multiple wicket-takers with two each.

Queensland all-rounder Jack Wildermuth made his Australian debut but got off to a difficult start, dropping Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza in the second over.

But he made up for it in the sixth over by taking a catch off Stanlake's bowling and then took his maiden international wicket with the last ball of the innings.

Australia will play Pakistan in the final on Sunday.