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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Report: Zimbabwe vs India, 2nd ODI, Harare, 26th July 2013


With a 58-run win at the Harare Sports Club, India took a 2-0 lead in the ongoing five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe. A revival of the Indian innings by Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik in a 167-run partnership helped India post a competitive target for Zimbabwe. (Also See: Highlights: Zimbabwe vs India, 2nd ODI, Harare, 26th July 2013)
The bowling attack, led by Jaydev Unadkat, then dealt blows at crucial junctures despite Zimbabwe going neck and neck (in the 28th over India were 127/4, while Zimbabwe were 130/4) for quite some time. In the end 294 proved too steep a target for the hosts to chase down. (Also See: 4th Zimbabwe vs India ODI postponed by a day)
Earlier, asked to bat first, the Indian batsmen were at sea in seaming conditions early on and lost their top order for just 65 runs. And had Dhawan not been aided by Kyle Jarvis’ no-ball and Brenden Taylor dropping him, the visitors’ top five would have been back in the pavilion. Making the most of the chances afforded to him, the left-handed opener grinded it out in the middle with Dinesh Karthik for company. (Also See: 4th Zimbabwe vs India ODI postponed by a day)
The top-order began to disintegrate with Rohit Sharma, playing in his 100th ODI, edging Brian Vitori to second slip off the left-arm pacer’s very first ball. Skipper Virat Kohli was the next to be sent back. And after a tentative 25-ball stay at the crease, Ambati Rayudu offered a simple catch to cover to return for five. 10 runs later, Suresh Raina pushed at a delivery going down the leg-side to the ‘keeper. (Also See: Images: Zimbabwe vs India, 2nd ODI, Harare, 26th July 2013)
Dhawan and Karthik then bided their time at the crease and diligently chipped away at the hosts’ attack to stitch a valuable partnership. Recovering from the shaky start, Dhawan went on to make a century to help India past 200, while Karthik brought up his fifty with a four to fine-leg.
After consolidating their position, they accelerated and milked the bowlers. Although they were quick between the wickets, their partnership ended with Karthik getting run out for 69 while attempting a quick single. His determined effort in the stand for the fifth wicket with the opener was crucial in resurrecting the innings. In the next over, Dhawan dragged a Prosper Utseya delivery onto the stumps to depart for 116.
Amit Mishra then joined Ravindra Jadeja at the crease with a little over six overs left in the innings. While looking to add to the total, Mishra was run out trying to sneak in an extra run. A while later, Jadeja heaved a Sean Williams delivery to mid-wicket to depart with five balls still remaining. However, Vinay Kumar took charge and whacked Williams for 6, 4 and 6, while Mohammed Shami clubbed the last ball over long-on for six to help claim 23 runs from the final over. 
Chasing 295, Vusi Sibanda and Sikandar Raza got off to a good start, but a superb diving catch by Dhawan who had come running to mid-wicket sent back the latter to end the stand for 45. And when Sibanda-Hamilton Masakadza partnership began to take shape, Unadkat struck once again to end it for 64. And later in the over, Taylor was also run out without adding to the total.
Five overs later Jadeja trapped Williams lbw. Masakadza was the next to be removed. The batter’s mis-hit off Mishra was caught by short-fine leg, leaving Zimbabwe on 130 for five. And after they lost Malcolm Waller to Mishra, Elton Chigumbura (46) and Prosper Utseya faced an uphill task. They hung on even as they were kept on a tight leash by the Indian bowlers. Although they built an 88-run stand, the lack of partnerships earlier and the middle-order collapse had pushed the home team on the back foot from which they could not recover. After Shami claimed Chigumbura, four short of his fifty, Utseya reached his half-century in the penultimate over and remained unbeaten on 52.
With the match firmly in India’s favour, the last over belonged to Unadkat, who was on a hat-trick having castled Jarvis and Vitori. But Tendai Chatara successfully defended the last ball to deny him the landmark.
Brief scores: India 294/8 in 50 overs (S Dhawan 116, D Karthik 69, B Vitori 2/27) beat Zimbabwe 236/9 in 50 overs (V Sibanda 55, P Usteya 52, J Unadkat 4/41, A Mishra 2/46) by 58 runs
Man of the MatchShikhar Dhawan for his match-winning ton
Presentation ceremony:

Brendan Taylor: "Good side like them, if you give them chances they make you pay. That partnership really killed us. Our top-order batters and senior players have to put our hand up and accept responsibility. We were too slow in the field, and there are some penalties in place for that."

Virat Kohli: "At 50 for 4, it wasn't looking good. Few mistakes from the batsmen, few tricky calls. There's two sides of being lucky, you cna think that I'm not batting well, or you think today is my day, credit to Dhawan for the way he played. A pity Karthik couldn't make his century, Unadkat has good hieght, he hits good lengths, change of pace as well. We're playing some really good cricket, we've got a new side out there to prove themselves, today the guys responded beautifully."

Man of the Match is Shikhar Dhawan: "Actually, it was one of my lucky days. I was playing well in earlier innings too, but I was getting out. The wickets wasn't easy to bat on. Me and Karthik just thought we should play on the merit of the ball."


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