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Bowlers deliver 2-0 lead for India thanks to comprehensive eight-wicket win

Bowlers deliver 2-0 lead for India thanks to comprehensive eight-wicket win
Ambati Rayudu (right) scored another unbeaten knock of 41 in the chase.
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 129-2 (Rayudu 41no) beat
Zimbabwe 126 (Sibanda 53) by eight wickets
Second One-Day International in Harare

The Indian bowlers put on a collective performance to dismiss Zimbabwe for 126 runs and the batsmen needed just 26.5 overs to chase down the total, securing an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series with an eight-wicket win in the second One-Day International in Harare.

Vusi Sibanda offered a lone fight with a fifty but the Indian bowlers, led by Yuzvendra Chahal’s three wicket haul needed just 34.3 overs to bowl Zimbabwe out for 126 runs.

India won the toss and opted to field first. Zimbabwe replaced Craig Ervine with Sean Williams but the latter injured himself soon after the toss and he was unable to take part in the game.

It took India just over four overs to strike first with Barinder Sran (2-17) having Hamilton Masakadza (9) caught down at third man.

In his next over, Sran removed Peter Moor (1) lbw but replays indicated that the ball was missing the stumps.

In the 10th over, Dhawal Kulkarni (2-31) trapped Chamu Chibhabha (21) lbw and reduced Zimbabwe to 39 for three.

Sibanda (53) and Sikandar Raza (16) joined hands and made sure that the flurry of wickets did not convert into a full blown batting collapse. Sibanda played positive cricket by hitting regular boundaries while Raza blocked one end.

The pair brought up the 50-run stand in the 21st over. Sibanda brought up a breezy fifty and took Zimbabwe to 106-3 at the halfway mark.

India pulled things back as Chahal (3-25) removed Raza and Elton Chigumbura (0) in successive deliveries in the 26th over. In his next over, Chahal accounted for Sibanda, who holed out down the ground attempting an audacious shot.

Zimbabwe slid further, losing Richmond Mutumbami (2) and Tendai Chatara (2) in successive overs. It took two more overs for Zimbabwe to be bowled out with Axar Patel (1-22) accounting for the wicket of Taurai Muzarabani (5) in the 35th over.

Williams did not come out to bat as he went to undergo scans on his injured finger.

Karun Nair (39) survived an early scare in the chase in the fifth over. Nair was out caught behind but it was revealed that Chatara had overstepped.

Lokesh Rahul (33) and Nair played steady cricket and struck the odd boundaries to take India to 48 for naught at the lunch interval.

Zimbabwe struck with the wicket of Rahul, who chopped a Chibhabha (1-31) delivery onto the stumps in the second over post lunch.

Ambati Rayudu (41 not out) started off with two fours and settled down into a partnership with Nair. India crossed the three-figure mark in the 22nd over and needed 27 more runs for a win from 28 overs.

Rayudu continued to play his shots and scored two fours in the 23rd over, while also bringing up the 50-run stand with Nair.

With just two runs for a win, Nair was out lbw trying to sweep Raza (1-7). Manish Pandey (4 not out) struck a boundary to deliver the eight-wicket victory for India, chasing down the target in just 26.5 overs.

The victory also stretched India’s lead to 2-0 in the three-match series. Chahal was awarded the man of the match for his exploit with the ball.

© Cricket World 2016