Kohli And Pathan Guide India To Convincing T20 Win
India 112-4 (Pathan 37no, Raina 28) beat
Zimbabwe 111-9 (Chibhaba 40) by six wickets
First Twenty20 International, Harare
Yusuf Pathan and Virat Kohli put together an unbroken 64-run partnership in 37 balls to steer India to a convincing six-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 International in Harare.
Pathan was unbeaten on 37 and Kohli made 27 as India raced past a victory target of 112 with five overs to spare.
India won the toss and decided to bowl first and struck early when Ranganath Vinay Kumar had Hamilton Masakadza (1) caught by Suresh Raina.
Brendan Taylor made a swift 15 in nine balls before he became Vinay Kumar's second victim when he was trapped in front and off-spinner Ravi Ashwin then had Tatenda Taibu also trapped in front to leave the home in trouble at 46 for three.
Chamu Chibhabha stroked five fours and a six on his way to 40 in 30 balls and Craig Ervine made a more patient 30 in 42 balls but aside from those two, no other players could reach double figures.
They were strangled by India's spinners, left-armer Pragyan Ojha returning two for 11 from his four overs - the most economical four-over spell in T20 Internationals by an Indian, no less and the recalled Piyush Chawla also taking a wicket as Zimbabwe's innings ran out of steam.
Vinay Kumar bowled Prosper Utseya for six to return figures of three for 24 and fellow quick bowler Ashok Dinda took two for 27.
India then made a poor start to their run chase when openers Murali Vijay (5) and Naman Ojha (2) were caught off the bowling of Christopher Mpofu and at 12 for two, the match was in the balance.
Captain Suresh Raina (28 in 17 balls) and Rohit Sharma (10) then put on 35 for the third wicket before Ray Price dismissed both men to get Zimbabwe in with a chance by reducing India to 48 for four.
However, Kohli then stroked three fours and a six in his 21-ball innings and Pathan blasted two fours and three sixes to hurry his side to a victory - the first they have registered against Zimbabwe on the tour following two losses in the One-Day International tri-series.
The second and final match is on 13th June.
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