Having beaten India in the first T20 in a close encounter, Zimbabwe would have been looking forward to a rare series win as the two teams clashed again on Monday. But, the jolt received at the hands of the hosts in the opening match definitely woke them up. India were back to their best, and registered another thumping win, on par with their effort in the one-dayers, by 10 wickets. This was the second time during the tour that India had thrashed their opponents by the margin, the last occasion was in the third ODI. And, they clearly were too good for the Zimbabweans.
The Indian bowlers, who had failed to make much of an impression in the first match, stood out this time. Barinder Sran made a brilliant debut, to finish with figures of 4 for 10, conceding just one boundary in his entire spell. He was outstanding, and ended up dismissing Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza and Sikandar Raza as well. The Zimbabwean batsmen just could not make any kind of impact on the match. He picked up the first four wickets to fall, to leave the hosts reeling at 28 for 4. They could not recover from there.
Bran got excellent support from Jasprit Bumrah, who carried on his great work. Bumrah has been nearly unplayable in the series, and finished with figures of 3 for 11 in his four overs. He sent back the well set Peter Moor, and more importantly, got the wicket of Elton Chigumbura, who was the hero in the last game for the hosts. Yuzvendra Chahal also played his part in the impressive victory, picking up the wicket of Malcolm Waller. And, while Axar Patel did not claim any scalps, he also ensured that too many runs weren’t leaked.
Once India held Zimbabwe to a paltry 99, the match was theirs to lose. But, India learnt their lesson from the previous clash, and ensured there was no slip up. After a rare failure in the last match, Lokesh Rahul was back at his best. He remained unbeaten on a crisp 47 from 40 balls, with the aid of two fours and two sixes. More importantly, Mandeep Singh also got among the runs. He had gotten a start in the previous game before giving his wicket away. On Monday though, he ensured he stayed till the end, and finished with an impressive half-century.
As has been the case for a majority of the series, Zimbabwe struggled because their batsmen let them down. This time, the hosts were lucky with the toss, and made first use of the batting conditions. But, Chibhabha, Masakadza and Raza failed yet again, and it put the Zimbabweans under huge pressure. In the last game, they were bailed out by Chigumbura, but he too fell cheaply this time. In fact, Moor’s 31 was the only score of note. As a result, Zimbabwe fell way behind in the contest, and it was a cakewalk for the Indians
--By A Cricket Analyst