Zimbabwe 144 (Elton Chigumbura 50, Malcom Waller 35, Amit Mishra 3/25)
India 145/1 (Suresh Raina 65, Rohit Sharma 64, Tendai Chatara 1/31)
INDIA cruised to a 4-0 lead in the five-match Celkom one-day international (ODI) cricket series after an easy nine-wicket win over Zimbabwe with 115 balls left in the innings in the fourth match played at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday.
Zimbabwe had retained the same squad that played in the first three matches in Harare while India brought in fringe players in Mohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara who were making their ODI debuts. Jaidev Unadkat was making his fourth appearance for the world champions.
Sharma was impressive both with the ball and the bat which saw him win the man-of-the-match award after scoring an unbeaten 64 runs and picking up two wickets.
India won the toss and chose to field, bowling out Zimbabwe for 144 runs with over seven overs to go.
The hosts got off to a slow start with opener Vusi Sibanda getting his first run after facing 16 balls with the first boundary coming in the fifth over. But it was not long until Sharma picked up his first ODI wicket, dismissing Sikanda Raza who was caught behind for seven runs by Dinesh Karthik and Zimbabwe were 16 for one after 6,4 overs.
The mandatory power play saw Zimbabwe manage to get 35 runs having lost one wicket in those first 10 overs of play. Sluggish running from Hamilton Masakadza saw him being run out for 10 runs after facing 15 balls leaving the hosts at a precarious 36 for two in the 11th over.
India introduced left-arm spin bowler Ravindra Jadeja in the 14th over and he struck with his fifth ball dismissing skipper Brendan Taylor for a duck after facing nine balls with Sean Williams being bowled out in the next over for a duck by Jaidev Unadkat after facing only two balls.
Jadeja struck again, bowling out Sibanda for 24 with his first ball of the 16th over and Zimbabwe were at 47 for five. The sixth wicket partnership of Malcom Waller and Elton Chigumbura steadied the innings for the hosts reaching a 50 in the 31st over with Zimbabwe’s 100 coming after 33 overs.
Their partnership stand of 80 runs had trickled in a few more runs before Waller was caught behind by Karthik for 35 from Sharma’s delivery at the end of the 37th over leaving Zimbabwe at 127 for six.
After that wickets fell cheaply for Zimbabwe with Prosper Utseya being dismissed after having faced only 12 balls and getting a single when he was caught by Sharma from Mohamed Shami’s delivery. Tendai Chatara got one run before he was dismissed in similar fashion after he was caught by Jadeja off Mishra’s delivery.
Chigumbura reached his half century in the 43rd over after facing 66 deliveries having knocked four fours. Mishra then struck twice in the same over bowling Brian Vitori out for eight runs and Michael Chinouya for a duck to end Zimbabwe’s innings at 144 all-out with 42 balls remaining.
India were off to a slow start in their run chase getting 25 runs after 10 overs and losing the wicket of debutant Pujara for 13, bowled out by Chatara.
India steadily chipped away chasing down the target with the third wicket partnership of Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma delivering late blows to rack up a total of 122 runs in their partnership for an easy win.