Zimbabwe: 168 all out in 49.5 overs (Elton Chigumbura 41, Sikandar Raza Butt 23; Jasprit Bumrah 4/28, Dhawal Kulkarni 2/42, Barinder Sran 2/42)
India: 173 for 1 in 42.3 overs (Lokesh Rahul 100*, Ambati Rayudu 62; Tendai Chatara 1/20)
India won by nine wickets (with 45 balls remaining)
AN inspired spell of 4/28 by paceman Jasprit Bumrah knocked the stuffing out of Zimbabwe’s middle and lower order to hand India a comfortable nine-wicket win in the first match of the Killer Cup ODI Series at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
Zimbabwe limped to 168 all out in 49.5 overs on a pitch that provided a hint of movement for India’s seamers who never allowed the home side to get going.
Peter Joseph Moor was the first to go when he was trapped leg before wicket by a Barinder Sran delivery that swung back into the right-hander for three with the total on eight.
Hamilton Masakadza and Chamunorwa Chabhabha then cautiously went about rebuilding the innings, before Masakadza edged Dhawal Kulkarni to Mahindra Singh Dhoni for 14 in a desperate attempt to up the tempo.
Thirty for two then became 47 for three when Bumrah uprooted Chibhabha’s off-stump for a painstaking 13 off 42 balls.
Bumra then drew Vusimuzi Sibanda into a rash square cut which was gleefully accepted by wicketkeeper and captain Dhoni to leave the hosts floundering at 69 for four.
Craig Ervine then tried to counter-attack the left-arm spin of Axar Patel, but only managed to find the safe hands of the substitute fielder at wide long on for a gritty 21.
Sikandar Raza Butt (23) and Richmond Mutumbami (15) got starts but were unable to convert, and although Elton Chigumbura top-scored with 41, the normally big-hitting batsman found the going tough on what appeared to be a two-paced wicket, as Zimbabwe were eventually bowled out for a paltry 168 in 49.5 overs.
Bumrah was the pick of the Indian bowlers, finishing with career-best figures of 4/28 in 9.5 overs, while Kulkarni and Sran finished with identical figures of 2/42 from their quota of 10 overs.Advertisement
India spinners Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal gave their seamers excellent support with figures of 1/26 and 1/27 respectively from their 10 overs.
The visitors then opened the batting with two debutants, and initially found it heavy going, thanks to tight bowling by Tendai Chatara and Taurai Muzarabani who consistently hit good areas.
Chatara’s efforts were rewarded when Karun Nair lost patience and slapped a shortish ball to Raza Butt who took a comfortable catch at cover.
Kannaur Lokesh Rahul who scored an unbeaten 100 in his debut ODI and Ambati Rayudu (62*) however ensured a comfortable win for India as they reached their target in the 43rd over when Rahul smashed Hamilton Masakadza over long-on to win the match and reach three figures.
The debutant faced 115 balls and struck seven fours and a six, while the more experienced Rayudu was happy to rotate the strike and play second fiddle in a flawless partnership.
The two teams meet in the second of the three-match ODI series on Monday at the same venue.