About the Match
With a second straight win, India has clinched the series against Zimbabwe and leads 2-0 as they get ready for the 3rd and final ODI on 14th July at Harare. The hosts suffered a 62-run defeat against the men in blue, who looked a notch more confident in the second match, blasting 271 runs batting first. Despite a fighting effort by some of the Zimbabwean batsmen, they failed to keep the series alive and will be now eager to redeem themselves with a win here and give their fans something to cheer about. India on the other hand, gave an all-round performance with both bat and ball; they dominated Zimbabwe and seem to be motivated to make a clean sweep here on Tuesday.
Although they bowled tight spells, using as many as eight bowlers, they couldn’t come up with a formula to contain the opposition’s run-flow; Madziva took 4-49 to remove players like the well-set Vijay and break partnerships but some of the bowlers gave away too many easy runs. In the end they did well to restrict India to an achievable 271 runs but the batsmen failed to control their nerves and lost the match by 62 runs.
Chibhabha was the only top order batsman to keep the fight on, posting a well-made 72, but he was run-out in the 32nd over; a dismal performance by Masakadza, Chigumbura and Sibanda, all getting out for less than 10 runs each, caused a batting line-up collapse that they failed to recover from. Although Mutumbami and Cremer tried to revive the innings, the lower order could only take them to 209 in the end.
The series defeat has dented their spirits but they must pull themselves up and come back stronger if they want to earn back some respect; the bowlers are doing a commendable job but they need the support of the batsmen too, who must come out all guns blazing to dominate a team like India.
Rahane and Vijay opened well, posting a 112-run partnership, batting first in the second match; while Rahane led from the front with his scintillating 63, Vijay was determined to make an impression as he posted 72 off 95. The middle order showed better strength as Rayudu, Tiwary and Binny contributed to keep the scoreboard ticking and helped them get to a competitive 271.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar made life difficult for the hosts, claiming 4-33 to demolish their batting line-up; with the rest taking regular wickets, it was an easy journey towards a series victory.
The team has made a comeback in the ODI format, after a colossal loss against Bangladesh last month, and they seem to have found good resources with the bat in the middle order with players like Rayudu, Tiwary, Binny and Uthappa stepping up to share the responsibilities.
India has already won the series but they will not take the opposition lightly; with a strong batting line-up, which has got acclimatised to the conditions here and an in-form bowling attack, the visitors look well placed to win the next match and make it a 3-0 whitewash against Zimbabwe