Report: Zimbabwe vs India, 3rd ODI
With a seven-wicket win in the one-sided third match against Zimbabwe, India have claimed the five-match ODI series with a 3-0 lead. After the Indian seamers exploited the conditions early on to send the opposition on the backfoot, the spin attack, led by Amit Mishra’s four-for skittled them out for 183. Captain Virat Kohli (68*) then effortlessly led India to the target at the Harare Sports Club after Shikhar Dhawan set the tone with a quick 35.
Opting to bowl first, the unchanged Indian team dominated the proceedings from the word go to bowl the home team out for 183 with four overs to spare. Opening the bowling for visitors, Vinay Kumar removed Visu Sibanda off the third ball of the day without Zimbabwe even opening their account. And while their first run came off a wide, Sikandar Raza tentatively edged Mohammed Shami to Dinesh Karthik off the pacer’s first delivery to leave his team on two for two.
With his team reeling from the early blows, captain Brendan Taylor joined Hamilton Masakadza and the duo worked diligently to steady the ship. The duo stitched a partnership but just as Zimbabwe looked like they were recovering from the shaky start, a brilliant catch diving forward by Shami off Jaydev Unadkat to send back Taylor ended the stand for 65. It was all downhill for the hosts from there on as once again in the series they failed to string together sizeable partnerships.
13 runs later, Amit Mishra, introduced into the attack was on a hat-trick with the wickets of Masakadza and Malcom Waller. While the No 3 nudged the leg-spinner to the keeper, Waller was caught leg-before. Elton Chigumbura who denied Mishra the landmark and had played valuable knocks in the last two games however didn’t last long and was trapped lbw by Ravindra Jadeja a couple of overs later. Losing wickets in clusters the home team were floundering on 89 for six in 23rd over.
While Sean Williams was grinding it out in the middle to hold up one end, he lost Prosper Utseya next. The lower-order batsman managed to nick a Shami delivery to Karthik and walked back. Attempting to add to the total Williams soon ran himself out taking on Jadeja while trying to sneak in an extra single.
Tendai Chatara and Brian Vitori then battled it out for a few overs to add a useful 34 runs for the ninth wicket until the latter was sent packing by Mishra’s googly. The bowler then wrapped up the innings by ending Chatara’s resistance for 23.
Chasing the below par total, India lost Rohit Sharma in the sixth over. The opener nudged debutant Michael Chinouya to Taylor behind the stumps after looking in good nick and had smashed a couple of boundaries en route to his 14. The Zimbabwe pacer then welcomed Kohli with a blow to the body. But, unfazed the India captain joined Dhawan in taking the innings forward garnering runs at a healthy rate. However, Dhawan powerfully hit a Chatara delivery straight in the cover region 40 runs later where, Sibanda held on to the ball to send back Dhawan.
Kohli and Ambati Rayudu then continued to chip away at the Zimbabwe attack and added 64 runs for the third wicket to close in on the target. While Kohli was approaching his fifty, Rayudu however departed after hitting the ball back to Vitori an over after India took the batting powerplay.
Suresh Raina then replaced him at the crease and joined the skipper in milking the bowlers. Stepping on the accelerator, while Kohli reached his fifty with a boundary through off side, the duo took the team to victory with over 14 overs to spare in an unbroken 56 run stand.
Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 183 all out in 46 overs (S Williams 45, A Mishra 4/47, M Shami 2/25) lost to India 187/3 in 35.3 overs (V Kohli 68*, S Dhawan 35, A Rayudu 33) by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: Man of the Match: Amit Mishra for his four-for to set-up the match in India’s favour