Abhishek Sharma, bowlers guide India to 100-run win over Zimbabwe; level series 1-1

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | July 07, 2024 IST

Team India

Harare, July 7: Abhishek Sharma's blistering century followed by disciplined bowling by Indian bowlers helped the Shubman Gill-led side beat Zimbabwe by 100 runs in the second T20I played at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday to level five-match series 1-1.

Chasing a massive 235-run target the visitors got off to a poor start losing opener Innocent Kaia for 4 in the first over as Mukesh Kumar gave India an early breakthrough.

Brian Bennett walked out to bat with the other opener Wessly Madhevere and batted aggressively hitting three sixes and one boundary but his stay was short lived as Mukesh struck again dismissing him for 26 from 9 balls to reduce Zimbabwe to 40/2 in 3 overs. Avesh Khan also joined the party dismissing Dion Myers in the next over for a golden duck caught by Rinku Singh to put Zimbabwe in a spot of bother at 41/3 in 3.2 overs. In the same over pacer Avesh struck again getting the prized scalp of Zimbabwe's captain Sikandar Raza for 4 to put the hosts in further trouble at 46/4 in 4 overs.

Johnathan Campbell walked out to bat with opener Wessly Madhevere and the duo helped Zimbabwe cross 50-run mark in 5 overs. The visitors managed to score 58 runs with the loss of four wickets in six overs of powerplay. Just when it seemed that Zimbabwe are clawing their way back offbreak bowler Washington Sundar got the wicket of Johnathan Campbell caught in the deep by Ravi Bishnoi for 10 from 18 balls to leave the visitors tottering at 72/5 in 9.4 overs. Wicket-keeper batter Clive Madande walked out to bat after the dismissal of Campbell but was sent packing leg before wicket by Ravi Bishnoi for duck to leave Zimbabwe in further trouble at 73/6.

Wellington Masakadza came in to bat but even he too didn't last long as he was run out by wicket-keeper Dhruv Jurel for 1 with the hosts losing their seventh wicket for 76. Luke Jongwe joined opener Madhevere and the duo took Zimbabwe's total beyond triple triple-figure mark in 14.5 overs. Madhevere was fighting the lone battle with a bit of support from Jongwe but was cleaned up by Bishnoi for 43 from 39 balls to leave Zimbabwe at 117/8 in 16.3 overs.

After the wicket Madhevere the hosts had lost their last hopes as the next batter Blessing Muzarabani  was sent packing at 2 by Avesh Khan caught by Washington Sundar. Luke Jongwe tried hard to give some fight but was dismissed by Mukesh Kumar for 33 from 26 balls to bowl out Zimbabwe for 135 in 18.4 overs with India registering a 100- run win.

Avesh and Mukesh bagged three wickets each while Bishnoi and Sundar ended up with two and one wicket respectively. Earlier in the day, opting to bat first, India did not have the best of starts losing their captain Shubman Gill for 2 as Blessing Muzarabani got his prized scalp with the visitors putting only 10 runs on the board. Ruturaj Gaikwad walked out to bat after the dismissal of Gill and he along with Abhishek Sharma tried to consolidate the innings on a pitch that was not very placid for batting. The Sharma-Gaikwad duo helped India score 36 runs for the loss of one wicket in the first six overs of powerplay.

The left-hand and right-hand combination took India beyond the 50- run mark in 8.1 overs. Abhishek Sharma was more aggressive of the two taking and along with Gaikwad notched up a 50-run partnership for the second wicket for 43 balls. The southpaw from Punjab went on to score his maiden T20I halfcentury in 33 balls hitting four boundaries and three sixes. With the aggressive hitting of Abhishek Sharma, the Indian team crossed the triple-figure mark in 11 overs. The Sharma-Gaikwad pair also went on to score 100 runs for the second wicket in just 64 balls.

The 23-year-old left-hander Abhishek Sharma smashed three consecutive sixes to slam his maiden T20 international ton from just 46 balls. In the very next delivery after scoring the century Abhishek Sharma got out to Wellington Masakadza's bowling caught by Dion Myers for 100 from 47 with team India on 147 with the loss of two wickets.

Rinku Singh walked out to bat after the dismissal of centurion Sharma and along with Gaikwad helped India cross the 150- run mark in 14.3 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad notched up his fourth T20I half-century in 38 balls. Gaikwad-Rinku pair also added 50 runs for the third wicket in just 24 balls with Ruturaj doing the bulk of the scoring between the two. The duo batted aggressively helping the visitors cross the 200-run mark in 18.4 overs. Rinku Singh also changed gears and along with Gaikwad helped India score a mammoth 234 for 2 in 20 overs scoring 82 runs in last 5 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad remained unbeaten on 77 from 47 balls while Rinku Singh scored 48 from 22 balls.

(ANI)

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