India Clinch T20 Series against Zimbabwe 2-1 by Defending Average Total

June 23 16:02 2016

dhoniNew Delhi, Thursday, June 23 – Anything can happen in the shortest format of cricket and no team can ever predict that the games get close in the final over. On the India tour of Zimbabwe, the Men in Blue must have earned useful experience, which will help them in the future for sure.

For the reason that the host batted, bowled and fielded well in this series, it can be called a close series since chances of winning for them was equal, especially when India could only score 138 runs in 20 overs in the last and decisive match of the T20 International. After facing a shocking defeat in the T20 opener by 2 runs at the hands of Zimbabwe, India under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni bounced back perfectly with 10 wicket win on the opponents in a match played on June 20. The Indian opening batsmen and some great bowling by young bowlers made one thing clear that they have got the potential to get better and better and need more games to outshine amid others.

At Harare Sports Club in Harare on Wednesday, a crucial match held between India and Zimbabwe. The team of the home side looked good having Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Peter Moor, Vusi Sibanda, Timycen Maruma, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, the captain Graeme Cremer, Neville Madziva, Donald Tiripano and Tendai Chatara. Those to sit on bench were Richmond Mutumbami, Sikandar Raza, Taurai Muzarabani, Tapiwa Mufudza, Craig Ervine, Wellington Masakadza, Tawanda Mupariwa and Tinotenda Mutombodzi.

Dhoni led the Indian squad having Lokesh Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav,  Axar Patel, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah,  Yuzvendra Chahal and Barinder Sran.  Despite the fact that Faiz Fazal, Karun Nair,  Jayant Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat and Rishi Dhawan were not the parts of the Playing XI but they must have learned how to not lose focus when it is vital to stay calm and composed, when team puts an average total on the scoreboard, in particular.  Most of the Indian players were not able to deliver in the way their skipper and supporters wanted.  Post facing six deliveries and pocketing four runs, Mandeep Singh threw his wicket to Donald Tiripano the moment Maruma was quick in going under the ball and taking a good catch, providing Zimbabwe the first breakthrough.

Expectations were high from Lokesh Rahul and Ambati Rayudu, taking into consideration their brilliant show during the Zimbabwe tour.  The opener Rahul fell short to Neville Madziva at a score of 22 facing 20 balls. His innings was studded with three 4s and a six. Manish Pandey’s dismissal for a naught brought the host back in game. Instant response by Chigumbura made the Indian batsman be a run out victim and go back to the pavilion without scoring any run.  Rayudu lost his wicket to Cremer after attaining 20 runs off 26 balls, inclusive of a boundary. Kedar Jadhav was able to play a knock that set a foundation for India to keep the squad alive in the game. Had he not been able to score 58 runs off 42 deliveries, together with seven 4s and a six, India would have been in huge trouble. A series loss against Zimbabwe would have even turned into reality if Jadhav wouldn’t have realized the significance of standing strong without getting terrified by the rival’s bowling attack.

The wicket-keeper captain Dhoni hit a four, raising hopes. When audience thought he will increase the pace of scoring runs, Donald Tiripano dismissed him. Just 9 runs were scored by the Indian skipper, who is popular in the world as one of the finest finishers. Jadhav lost his wicket on the last ball of 19th over when Tiripano was brought back on attack.  Axar Patel was not out at 20 runs off 11 deliveries. He hit a six as well. Dhawal Kulkarni was not out at a score of 1.  A variety in bowling styles by Zimbabwe bowlers showed that games happened in the recent past have helped them get mature. No wonder if they continue to learn like this and rise as a better team in the coming days. Just four extras were given by the host, giving no room to Indian players capitalize on the opportunity. Tiripano was the leading wicket taker who sent three batsmen back to the dressing room.

Start for Zimbabwe wasn’t impressive too for the reason that Chamu Chibhabha lost his wicket to Barinder. The 29-year- old right-handed batsman scored 5 runs off 10 balls, inclusive of a four. Hamilton Masakadza was given lbw when Axar was brought into the bowling attack. With a couple of fours, 15 runs were scored by him facing 21 balls.  Vusi Sibanda was dismissed in the same manner but in Kulkarni’s over. Off 28 balls, 23 runs were scored, with the help of five boundaries. Peter Moor fell short to Chahal when batting at 26 runs that were attained in 21 balls. Three biggies from him undoubtedly increased pressure on Indian bowling lineup in view of the fact that not so many runs were on the scoreboard that could have built a psychological pressure on the team chasing it.

The wicket keeper batsman Malcolm Waller, lost his wicket to Kulkarni at a score of 10. He faced 17 deliveries but did not succeed to score in speed. All eyes were struck on Elton Chigumbura and Timycen Maruma as the two were present on the crease as the last pair. A couple of fours from the 30-year-old Chigumbura and a four & two sixes from the all-rounder Maruma seemed to take the match away from India’s grip. Zimbabwe were close to attaining the target and all things depended on the final delivery.  Barinder then bowled a ball that gave India a reason to jump in joy since the catch was caught by Chahal and Chigumbura was dismissed at 16 runs. Timycen Maruma was not out at 23 runs off 13 balls. Chigumbura’s wicket was lost in an attempt to get a shot, which was needed to win the series.

India heaved a sigh of relief post logging 3-run win on Zimbabwe, who could only score 135 runs. Pressure increased too much on Indian bowlers that they gave 12 extras. Even though India ended up the series by 2-1, Zimbabwe were better in more than a few aspects. They scored 40 runs in mandatory powerplay; scoring 11 extra runs as compared to Indian side. As the match was nearing to end, it got difficult for Zimbabwe to finish in style. Even though they lost the 3-match T20I series, likelihood of finding them at a good place is high in future series. Jadhav was announced ‘Man of the Match’, while Sran was declared ‘Man of the Series’.

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