Harare, July 12:
The Indian cricket team displayed an all-round performance to register a commendable 62-run victory over Zimbabwe in the second One-Day International (ODI), with a match yet to play, and thus clinch the series 2-0 at the Harare Sports Club here on Sunday.
For India, openers Murali Vijay (72) and skipper Ajinkya Rahane (63) starred with the bat to help the visitors reach 271/8 in 50 overs.
In reply, some tight bowling by the Indians and the hosts’ wickets falling at regular intervals choked Zimbabwe as they were bundled out for 209 in 49 overs. For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/33) was the pick of the bowlers.
Put in to bat, India got off to a slow start with captain Rahane and Vijay taking their time to settle down. The two went on to score 39 in the first 10 overs.
The next 10 overs also saw the visitors play sedately, spending their time in the middle, to judge the wicket rather than being aggressive and played 68 deliveries as dot balls in the first 20 overs. But India managed to keep their wickets and posted 78/0 in 20 overs.
Zimbabwe bowlers Neville Madziva, Brian Vitori, Donald Tiripano were all disciplined and economical.
Rahane, looking to up the scoring rate, fell in the 26th over but only after building a strong foundation. The Rahane-Vijay opening stand accounted for 112 runs. Zimbabwe then sensed a chance of picking wickets after breaking the stand.
Rahane’s wicket didn’t put a check on India as Man-of-the-Match Vijay scored freely but failed to reach his maiden ODI century as he was caught by substitute fielder Malcolm Waller at long-on off Madziva.
The visitors were comfortable at 159/2 in the 34th over when Vijay departed. His dismissal brought in Ambati Rayudu, who set up India’s victory in the first ODI with a fine century.
Rayadu looked in good touch and was set to to make another big score but fell untimely, scoring 41. After Rayudu’s departure, Manoj Tiwary (22), Robin Uthappa (13), Stuart Binny (25), Kedar Yadav (16), Axar Patel (1) all fell cheaply in trying to score quickly. But their efforts contributed to help India cross the 270-run mark.
For Zimbabwe, Madziva (4/49) was the pick of the bowlers.
Chasing 271, the hosts were reduced to 43/3 by the 11th over as opener Vusi Sibanda (2), Hamilton Masakadza (5) and Elton Chigumbara (9) fell in quick succession. Sean Williams (20) also went back to the pavilion after a brief stint with opener Chamu Chibhabha as Zimbabwe were reduced to 95/4 by the 25th over.
Chibhabha seemed in touch. The fall of wickets at the other end did not bother him as he scored freely and took on the Indian bowlers. The right-handed batsman struck nine fluent boundaries en route his 70, but was unlucky as he ran himself out in the 32nd over when his team needed him to stay with the score on 130/5.
Soon after, Sikandar Raza (18), Richmond Mutumbami (32) and Graeme Cremer (27) got off to starts but fell in clusters to make it difficult for the hosts to save the match. (IANS)