Dhawan Drives India To 2-0 Series Lead
India 294-8 (Dhawan 116, Karthik 69) beat
Zimbabwe 236-9 (Unadkat 4-41) by 58 runs
Second One-Day International, Harare
Shikhar Dhawan scored his third One-Day International century to set up a convincing 58-run win for India over Zimbabwe in the second match in Harare.
India's eventual victory, which puts them 2-0 up in the five-match series, was not without alarm, as they slipped to 65 for four when batting first only for Dhawan (116) and Dinesh Karthik (65) to revive the innings, which they closed on 294 for eight.
Although Zimbabwe made a good start, they lost ground quickly and closed on 236 for nine despite an 88-run stand for the seventh wicket between Elton Chigumbura (46) and Prosper Utseya (52 not out).
The key part of the game was the period between the fall of Zimbabwe's second wicket - at 109 in the 21st over, and the 31st over, by which time they had lost four more wickets and added just 24 runs as India pulled out the ultimate double whammy - a stack of wickets resulting in a dramatic increase to the required run-rate.
Although Chigumbura hit four fours and a six and Utseya hit five fours, their efforts were little more than damage limitation and at least prevented the Zimbabweans from being bowled out inside 50 overs.
Earlier in the day, things were looking rosy for the men in red, as Brian Vitori (2-27), Kyle Jarvis (1-70) and Tendai Chatara (1-46) made short work of Rohit Sharma (1), Virat Kohli (14), Ambati Rayudu (5) and Suresh Raina (4) to put India under pressure.
Through Dhawan and Karthik, they responded magnificently. Dhawan reached his century in 115 balls while Karthik made a well-paced 69 in 74 balls with six fours.
Dhawan struck 11 fours and two sixes and the pair put on 167 for the fifth wicket and after their dismissals, further runs came courtesy of Ravindra Jadeja (15) and Ranganath Vinay Kumar, who thumped 27 not out in 12 balls to keep India in the driving seat.
Sikandar Raza impessed in the opening game by hitting 82 but was the first batsman to fall on this occasion, making 20 before he was caught by man-of-the-moment Dhawan for 20 although Vusi Sibanda's 55 and 34 in 47 balls from Hamilton Masakadza kept Zimbabwe in the game.
Then India took control during a 10-over period that swung the game. First, Brendan Taylor was run out without scoring by Jaydev Unadkat four balls after Sibanda was caught by Amit Mishra off the same bowler.
Sean Williams was trapped in front by Jadeja for five and Malcolm Waller leg before to Mishra for two either side of Masakadza being caught by Shami Ahmed off leg-spinner Mishra.
After that, Chigumbura and Utseya showed defiance aplenty but the game was gone - not that Unadkat had stopped giving his all, as he bowled Jarvis (2) and Vitori (0) to end with figures of four for 41.
Utseya was left unbeaten at the other end on 52 in 62 balls.
The third match is on 28th July.
© Cricket World 2013