Taylor And Masakadza Blast Zimbabwe To Clinical Win
Zimbabwe 197-3 (Taylor 74, Masakadza 66) beat
India 194-9 (Jadeja 51, Lamb 3-45) by seven wickets
Tri-series One-Day International, Harare
Aggressive half-centuries from Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza set Zimbabwe on the path towards a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over India in their latest tri-series One-Day International in Harare.
The opening pair put on 128 for the first wicket and after that Zimbabwe cruised to victory having been set 195 to win, eventually getting home in 38.2 overs to guarantee a bonus point win and a return to the top of the table.
Taylor took the early lead in the partnership, making 74 in 90 balls with six fours and a six to ensure his landmark 100th ODI was a memorable one and after his dismissal, Masakadza exhibited some brutal strokeplay to make 66 in 86 balls, hitting leg-spinner Amit Mishra for consecutive sixes, also hitting four fours.
After Masakadza was well caught by Virat Kohli at midwicket, Charles Coventry made a brisk 20 and even his dismissal could not halt Zimbabwe's charge and they were brought home by captain Elton Chigumbura, unbeaten on 16, and Tatenda Taibu, who made 13.
Ravi Jadeja, who had earlier scored a half-century, took two for 24 with his left-arm spin but that wasn't enough to prevent Zimbabwe taking their second win in as many games against India - the first time they have ever managed to do so.
Earlier, they bounced back from their dreadful performance with the ball against Sri Lanka to restrict India to 194 for nine and such was Zimbabwe's discipline with the ball that only five bowlers were used with off-spinner Greg Lamb returning three for 45 as India struggled.
Their openers, Murali Vijay (21) and Dinesh Karthik (33) both got starts but failed to go on and scored slowly, putting pressure on the middle order.
Virat Kohli made 18 before he was caught by Tatenda Taibu off Prosper Utseya before both captain Suresh Raina (3) and Rohit Sharma (18) were run out.
Jadeja stood firm, hitting 51 in 72 balls with three fours and two sixes but as he was left to bat with the tail following the dismissal of Yusuf Pathan, trapped in front by Ray Price for 15, India's innings almost stalled, despite the best efforts of Ashok Dinda, who made 16 and Pragyan Ojha, who was unbeaten on seven.
The other four bowlers to bowl their full quota of ten overs - Andy Blignaut, Price, Utseya and Graeme Cremer all picked up a wicket apiece.
India must now win their final group game against Sri Lanka on Saturday (5th June) to keep their hopes of making the final alive.
© Cricket World 2010