Zimbabwe beat India by 10 runs in their second and final Twenty20 International to draw the series 1-1 at the Harare Sports Club here on Sunday. Opener Chamu Chibhabha’s magnificent knock of 67 guided Zimbabwe to 145 to 7 in reply to which visitors could only manage 135 for 9 in the allotted 20 overs.
Chasing an average score of 145 runs, India had a horrible start of their inning. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane found himself short of crease in the first over of the inning. Robin Uthappa and Murli Vijay went on towards the target at brisk rate and it looked like the partnership is taking the game away from Zimbabwe. Robin Uthappa played an aggressive inning of 42 runs where he hit nine boundaries. But we have seen so many times that a wicket brings many. The wicket of Murli Vijay in the 7th over started the middle order batting collapse for India. Murli Vijay missed a pull shot and his off-stump was wrecked off Cremer on 57. Cremer struck again in the same over when Manish Pandey’s legs were found in front of the stumps. Soon after that, Robin was caught and bowled by Sean Williams in the next over and Kedar Jadhav ran himself out in the next over. Now debutant Sanju Samson and Stuart Binny had job in their hand but they too failed to deliver for their team. They added 36 runs for the sixth wicket and once Binny got out on 105, the target looked too far ahead.
Graeme Cremer was the star for Zimbabwe with the ball as he took three wickets for 18.
Earlier in the day, Chigumbura was injured and Sikandar Raza was standing in as captain. He won the toss and opted to bat first. Zimbabwe got off to a good start. Chamu Chibhabha found boundaries at ease. He put on a partnership of 28 runs for the first wicket with Masakadza. Sandeep Sharma provided the first break through for India when he found the outside edge of Masakadza and Uthappa made no mistake behind the stumps. At the end of power play, Zimbabwe were 49 for 2. Sean Williams supported Chibhabha well with his 17. Zimbabwe did fumble in the middle of their inning but somehow they managed to post a respectable and eventually winning total of 145/7. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma took two wickets each.
Man of the Match: Chamu Chibhabha