Ervine And Taylor Lead Zimbabwe To Win Over India
Zimbabwe 289-4 (Taylor 81, Ervine 67no) beat
India 285-5 (Sharma 114, Jadeja 61no) by six wickets
Tri-series One-Day International, Bulawayo
Rohit Sharma scored his maiden One-Day International century but it was in vain as Zimbabwe clinched their first ODI win over India since 2002 in the tri-series opener in Bulawayo.
Sharma's 114 guided India to a score of 285 for five before half-centuries from Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine steered Zimbabwe to victory with six wickets and ten balls in hand.
Zimbabwe made a wonderful start to their run chase, as India's three debutants Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Ashok Dinda and Umesh Yadav struggled with the ball allowing Taylor (81) and Hamilton Masakadza (46) to put on 88 for the first wicket.
In particular, short bowling was ruthlessly punished before slow bowling handed India the first breakthrough when leg-spinner Amit Mishra had Masakadza trapped in front although Taylor continued to make his 19th half-century and he shared half-century stands with Masakadza and Greg Lamb.
Lamb made 27 in 43 balls before he was trapped in front by Ravi Jadeja but the momentum was kept up by Charles Coventry, who hit three big sixes in an entertaining knock of 32 in 25 balls but India, and Vinay Kumar, continued to keep up the pressure, first by having Taylor caught and Coventry beautifully bowled with a looping slower ball.
With the batting Power Play up their sleeve, Zimbabwe didn't panic and a wonderful unbeaten half-century from Craig Ervine on debut, coupled with some clean hitting from Elton Chigumbura (24 not out), enabled them to get home with plenty to spare.
Suresh Raina's decision to throw the ball to Jadeja for the 48th over backfired spectacularly as he bowled two full tosses which Ervine hammered for four to put the match beyond India.
Earlier, India also made a flying start before being pegged back by Zimbabwe's spinners but Sharma's well-crafted innings of 114 in 119 balls helped them accelerate in the later stages and post a competitive score.
New Zimbabwe captain Chigumbura did not enjoy his first overs in charge of the team as his first two disappeared for 36 as he delivered three wides that went to the boundary and a no ball, which allowed openers Dinesh Karthik (22) and Murali Vijay (11) to put on a partnership of 56 in nine overs.
Then came Zimbabwe's fightback which saw Vijay and Virat Kohli (0) brilliantly run out and Karthik caught behind by Taylor off the bowling of Prosper Utseya.
Sharma, who faced 84 balls for his half-century and captain Raina (37) began to rebuild with a half-century stand for the fourth wicket before an ugly shot saw Raina caught by Taylor off of fast bowler Christopher Mpofu.
Mpofu was the next to strike with the ball but not before Sharma had accelerated significantly, put on a century stand with Jadeja for the fifth wicket and reached his century with a six over cover.
Despite Sharma being caught by Taylor, who was impressive behind the stumps, India continued to accelerate thanks to Jadeja's unbeaten 61 in as many balls and Yusuf Pathan's 11 not out in just five balls at the death.
Mpofu finished with figures of two for 63 and Utseya one for 46.
Sri Lanka are the other side in the competition.
© Cricket World 2010