About the Match
India clinched a narrow win by 4 runs against Zimbabwe in the first ODI to take a 1-0 lead in the series; they will now play the 2nd ODI of the series on 12th July at Harare, wherein the hosts will try to level with the men in blue with a win here. Starting the innings on the back-foot, the Indians were down to 5-87 by the 25th over but an unbeaten 124 by Rayudu helped them muster 255 runs on the board. During the chase, Chigumbura posted a spirited 104 staying not-out till the very end but loss of quick wickets led to their defeat in the end. With the first match proving to be a close contest, the upcoming one will surely be an interesting one for the many fans who have gathered to support their teams.
Vitori struck early to remove M Vijay and gave away only 63 runs in his 9-over spell; but it was Tiripano and Chibhabha who made matters worse for the visitors by taking 2 wickets apiece and causing panic in the opposite camp. The bowlers did very well to restrict the Indians to a meagre 255 runs but despite Chigumbura’s heroic 104 off 101 balls, they failed to cross the finish line.
Batsmen Masakadza, Sibanda and Sikandar Raza showed some fight by posting double digit figures during the chase but the others failed to impress against the tactics of the Indian spinners. The top order needs to take the responsibility of building the foundation seriously and if the middle order can hold on to the wickets, they surely can post a big total or chase one with confidence.
The narrow defeat could well be attributed to nerves and they will need to be more determined in achieving the goals of the team; the bowlers are looking to be in good form and they can definitely pull out some tricks to outwit the Indian batsmen again in the upcoming match.
Murali Vijay, Robin Uthappa, Tiwari and Jadhav failed to deliver with the bat, getting out for below 10 runs each; a good knock by Rahane, who posted 34 in the company of Rayudu, who kept the hopes alive with his unbeaten 124, helped them keep the scorecard ticking. The duo posted a 51-run partnership for the 2nd wicket but it was a superb 160-run stand between Rayudu and Binny, who scored 77 runs coming in at No.7, that took the total to a decent 255 runs.
The bowlers didn’t waste any time in the 2nd innings and started out well by taking 2 wickets by the 13th over; while Patel and Binny contributed with 2 wickets each, Harbhajan, Kulkarni and Kumar took a wicket each to help them win the match by a narrow 4 runs in a thrilling finish.
It was a disappointing performance with respect to the batting but with the right permutations and combinations in the line-up, the team could definitely find a winning combination. The bowlers have well-adjusted to the conditions but they will have to be cautious against the hosts, who can be hard-hitters if they are determined to be.
The Indians have definitely learnt some valuable lessons after the first match and will be eager to dominate the hosts; Zimbabwe on the other hand, came very close to clinching a win but the defeat would now surely push them to come back stronger. Both the teams will come hard, but we expect Indians to take another victory home