India eased to victory in the ODI series with Zimbabwe, as they put a clinical performance in the second ODI to win the match by a margin of 62-runs.
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bowl first. Indian openers Ajinkya Rahane and Murli Vijay started the inning cautiously and put on a century stand for the first wicket. After starting cautiously, the duo chalking up the runs with ease and firmly establishing themselves at the crease. They creep their half-century mark and Vijay even upped the ante after reaching his maiden half-century. Skipper Rahane’s wicket then fell, though, as Chamu Chibhabha made the breakthrough with an excellent delivery that the Indian could only play into the grateful hands of Sikandar Raza for 63. Still, the damage was done, as the openers made an impressive 112-run stand. Vijay was dismissed soon after on 72 at the hands of Neville Madziva, but with India sitting on 159-2, they were firmly in command. Ambati Rayudu put together a strong knock of 42 before Raza sent him packing, but that was as good as it got for the visitors. The middle order couldn’t replicate the brilliance of Rahane and Vijay, with 25 the best score from third man downward. Madziva enjoyed the best of the action with the ball, taking four wickets for 49 runs. India eventually posted 271-8 from their 50 overs.
Zimbabwe didn’t start off well and the defeat in the first ODI was clear showing from their approach. Vusimuzi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura all failed to get into double figures, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking the latter pair’s wickets. Zimbabwe were reduced to 43-3 and were in danger of suffering a batting collapse, but opener Chibhabha just about managed to steady the ship. He was finding boundaries with ease and quickly moved over the 50 mark—his 12th ODI half-century. Sitting on 72 and looking dangerous, though, Chibhabha was clumsily run out by the man he dismissed earlier in the day, Rahane. From then on, it was just a case of when India would claim the victory, rather than if. Batsmen came and went, with Kumar tearing through the Zimbabwe order with ease. And when he sent Donald Tiripano packing with just an over remaining and the hosts on 209, the match, and the series, was over.
Despite the fact that India have breezed to the ODI series victory, but they’re still not quite on top of their game. The middle order will have to raise their game if they’re to mix with the best in the business.