India survive Zimbabwe scare to win series 2-1
India 138-6 (Jadhav 58) beat
Zimbabwe 135-6 (Sibanda 28) by three runs
Third Twenty20 International, Harare
Zimbabwe ran India close in a chase of 139 runs but fell short by four runs as the visitors kept their nerve to clinch the series 2-1 with a closely fought three-run victory in the third Twenty20 International in Harare.
Earlier in the day, Kedar Jadhav's fifty and a cameo from Axar Patel were the saving grace for India, who scored just 138 for six in 20 overs.
Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to field first. Lokesh Rahul (22) smashed two fours and a six in the third over after a slowish start in the first two.
Zimbabwe struck back with the wicket of Mandeep Singh (4) in the fourth over. In the fifth over, things took a turn for the worse as Rahul and Manish Pandey (0) fell in successive deliveries.
Rahul was castled by Neville Madziva (1-32) while Pandey was run out. India were struggling at 29 for three after the powerplay ended.
Just two boundaries game in the next four overs as India crawled to 53 for three at the halfway mark. Ambati Rayudu (20) and Jadhav (58) staged a recovery of sorts with a 49-run stand for the fourth wicket.
The partnership was broken in the 13th over with Rayudu caught down the ground against Graeme Cremer (1-32).
With five overs left and six wickets in hand, India's score read 87 for four. MS Dhoni (9) once again struggled to get going and was eventually dismissed in the 17th over, castled by Donald Tiripano (3-20).
However, Jadhav plundered a six and two fours to bring up his 38-ball fifty in the 18th over but was dismissed in the 19th.
Patel (20 not out) played a handy cameo as India scored 16 runs from the final over to post a total of 138 for six.
Barinder Sran (2-31) started with a maiden over and removed Chamu Chibhabha (5) in his second over.
Vusi Sibanda (28) smashed three fours in the fourth over as Zimbabwe managed to score 40 for one in the powerplay.
Hamilton Masakadza (15) was trapped lbw in the ninth over as Zimbabwe reached 59 for two at the halfway mark.
The second half of the chase began with Dhawal Kulkarni (2-23) dismissing Sibanda lbw. Peter Moor (26) plundered three sixes to keep Zimbabwe in the hunt but he was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal (1-32) in the 14th over.
With five overs left in the chase, Zimbabwe needed 48 runs with six wickets in hand. As the required rate went into the double digits, Malcolm Waller (10) was dismissed by Kulkarni.
Timycen Maruma (23) smashed a six and with 11 runs coming in the penultimate over, Zimbabwe needed 21 off the final six deliveries.
Maruma smashed a six and a four in the first two balls with second coming off a no-ball and Elton Chigumbura (16) plundered another boundary leaving four needed off the final ball but the former Zimbabwe captain holed out in the covers giving India a closely fought three-run victory.
By the virtue of this win, India took home the T20I series 2-1. Jadhav was the man of the match for his fifty while Sran was awarded the man of the series.
© Cricket World 2016