Zimbabwe pull one against complacent Indian batting
Zimbabwe 145-7 (Chibhabha 67) beat
India 135-9 (Uthappa 42) by 10 runs
Second Twenty20 International in Harare
Zimbabwe did not let India walk away with a clean whitewash, beating them by 10 runs in the second Twenty20 International in Harare while defending a small total of 145 to level the series 1-1.
Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bat first.
Hamilton Masakadza (19) smashed a six off a free hit in the fourth over but lost his wicket the next ball, edging one to the wicket-keeper. However, thanks to that 14 run over, Zimbabwe reached 35 for one.
By the end of the power-play, they were reduced to 49 for two with skipper Sikandar Raza (8) mistiming a wide delivery straight to third man.
Chamu Chibhabha (67) guided them to a decent 85 for two after 11 overs, but the consolidation went astray when Axar Patel (1-23) accepted a caught and bowled opportunity from Sean Williams (17).
Chibhabha brought up his fifty in the 15th over off just 38 balls and took Zimbabwe to 112 for three after 15 overs.
However, most of the good work with the bat until that point was undone thanks to a flurry of wickets in the slog overs. Stuart Binny (24) ended Charles Coventry’s (4) labored innings.
Any chances of a final onslaught were reduced when Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-26) managed a double wicket 19th over that accounted for Chibhabha and then Craig Ervine (7). Mohit Sharma (2-28) bowled a brilliant four run over in the 20th to restrict Zimbabwe to 145 for seven in their 20 overs.
India didn’t have the best of starts as Ajinkya Rahane (4) was run out the very first over after striking a four.
Robin Uthappa (42) started brilliantly with two consecutive fours off Taurai Muzarabani (1-23) in the second over and then three more in four balls off Chris Mpofu (1-26). He was in sublime nick, hitting consecutive fours in the fifth over from Chibhabha (0-9).
Another 13 came from the sixth over thanks to a Murali Vijay (13) six as India raced away to 57 for one after six overs.
However, Graeme Cremer (3-18) changed it all with two wickets in one over, breaching Vijay’s defense and then trapping Manish Pandey (0) LBW couple of balls later. Williams (1-31) gleefully accepted a caught and bowled chance from Uthappa as India slipped to 63 for four after eight overs.
Kedar Jadhav (5) was out thanks to some outfield brilliance by Muzarabani and India were 69 for five after nine overs. Binny (24) and Sanju Samson (19) added 36 runs, albeit a little slowly, at just six per over taking India to 105 for five after 15 overs.
However, Binny threw it away with a hit to long off that was beautifully taken by Chibhabha and the slide started all over again. India scored just 30 runs and lost four wickets in the last five overs to end on 135 for nine losing the game by 10 runs. Zimbabwe, thereby, level the Twenty20 series 1-1.
Chibhabha was awarded the man of the match award for his batting efforts.
© Cricket World 2015