New Delhi: In their last group match India beat Zimbabwe by six wickets in a Pool B clash to keep their unbeaten run intact at this World Cup. While chasing a challenging total of 287, India lost their four wickets under 92 runs but then Dhoni and Raina stitched unbeaten partnership of 196 runs to chase down the total comfortably.
Over 48.4 || Score 288/4
Single from the first two. Off the 4th ball, Dhoni once again finished off the match with a six. And with that shot India beat Zimbabwe by six wickets with eight balls to spare in their last group match of the World Cup.
Panyangara to bowl the penultimate over of the match.
Over 48 || Score 279/4
Six runs came in the first four ball. Two more singles from the last two as overall eight came from it. Nine runs needed off 12 balls.
Chatara with his final over.
Over 47 || Score 271/4
Off the fourth ball, Dhoni slapped the bowler straight down the wicket for a six. He then collected a boundary as well as India collect 15 runs from the over. India need 17 runs off 18 balls and they have six wicket sin hand.
Mupariwa to bowl the over.
Over 46 || Score 256/4
Poor bowling by Zimbabwe. It seems as if they have no idea where to bowl to these two. Dhoni is once again playing a captain's knock here. Seven came form the over. 32 needed off 24 balls. It can still be anyone's game, though India certainly have an upper hand.
Over 45 || Score 249/4
Raina completed his 5th ODI hundred with the help of a single. He smashed eight fours and four sixes to reach the three figure mark off 94 balls. It's his maiden World Cup ton as well. 22 runs came in he last two overs. And in the meanwhile Raina and Dhoni have added more than 150 runs for the fifth wicket.
Over 43 || Score 227/4
Indian skipper MSD completed his fifty with the help of a single. Another good over fro India as ten runs came in it. India need 61 runs to seal the match off 42 balls.
Over 42 || Score 217/4
India have crossed the 200-run mark in the 41st over. Raina is now dealing in boundaries and sixes. In the 42nd over the southpaw smashed the bowler for a boundary and six as 20 runs came in the last two over.
Over 40 || Score 197/4
Raina smacked Panyangara for a six to collect 13 from the over. Now India have an upper hand in the match. Zimbabwe need a wicket or two to make a come back in the match.
Over 39 || Score 184/4
No run came in the first four balls. Single off the next from Dhoni. Last ball, Raina on strike, and another single. An excellent over by the seamer as he conceded mere two runs.
Mupariwa to bowl his 7th over.
Over 38 || Score 182/4
Zimbabwe fielding has been sloppy thus far. Dhoni and Raina have collected a boundary each in the over as Zimbabwe leaked 12 in the over. India need 106 runs from 12 overs.
Over 37 || Score 170/4
Raina completed his fifty with the help of a boundary through wide long off. Seven from the over. India need 118 runs from 13 overs.
Mupariwa to bowl the over.
Over 36 || Score 163/4
Batting Powerplay! Now it's a good opportunity for India to get the required run-rate down, which has reached over 8.5. These five overs would be crucial for both the teams and it might decide the fate of the match. Off the last ball came a boundary from Dhoni's willow. Five from the over. India need 125 runs from 14 overs.
Over 35 || Score 158/4
India have crossed the 150-run mark. Masakadza has been introduced into the attack for the very first time. Last two overs belonged to Zimbabwe as nine runs came in them. But the simple catch they dropped off Raina could cost them dearly.
Over 33 || Score 149/4
Raina and Dhoni have added 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Now Dhoni is also trying to accelerate the run-rate. He slapped Raza for a boundary towards square leg to collect this third boundary. 19 runs came in the last two overs.
Over 31 || Score 130/4
Spin attack from both the ends as Raza and Williams are bowling at the moment. With the help of two boundaries and two sixes Raina has quickly reached to 40 off 53 balls. India still need 158 runs to seal the match in 19 overs.
Over 30 || Score 127/4
Raina is charging down the wicket to hit the bowlers all over the park. In the 30th over by Williams, he launched the bowler for consecutive sixes off the first two balls. India have to take calculative risks. 20 runs off the last two overs.
Over 28 || Score 107/4
Raina is looking for big hits as required run-rate is swelling with every passing over. Singles are not coming easily. Four runs off the last two overs.
Over 26 || Score 103/4
Raina is now feeling the pressure, as runs are not coming easily for India. Off the first ball off 26th over, the southpaw came down the track to hit the bowler for a boundary towards cow corner. Nine runs came in the last two overs. In the meanwhile, India have crossed the 100-run mark.
Over 24 || Score 94/4
Big blow for India. Virat Kohli walked back to the pavilion as he was clean bowled by Raza. There was nothing special in the ball though. Skipper MS Dhoni has come to the middle after the fall of India's fourth wicket.
V Kohli b Sikandar Raza 38 (48b)
Over 22 || Score 90/3
Mupariwa and Williams are bowling in tandem. India still have a long batting line-up to chase down the total successfully. Their batsmen just need to stick to the wicket for some time.
Over 20 || Score 83/3
Kohli is still hitting the ball well. He just need a partner from the other end. India still need 205 runs to seal the match and they have seven wickets in hand.
Over 19 || Score 78/3
India need a good partnership here, because a wicket or two from here will push India on the back-foot. Raina is struggling at the moment. Four from the over.
Over 18 || Score 74/3
Mire is testing new man to the crease, Raina, with bouncers. Good thinking by the bowler. One run off it.
Over 17 || Score 73/3
Rahane run out! In trying to steal a single, Rahane placed the ball towards off side and ran, but Kohli sent him back mid-way, but by then it was too late and eventually he fell short of his crease. Suresh Raina is the new man in. Eight runs came in the last two overs.
AM Rahane run out 19 (24b)
Over 15 || Score 65/2
Rahane and Virat have already added 44 runs for the third wicket. Runs and boundaries are coming easily for India. Seven from the over. India need 223 more runs from 35 overs.
Over 14 || Score 58/2
Double bowling change. Solomon Mire has been given the ball. Rahane welcomed the bowler with a boundary towards point region. Virat and Rahane are middling the ball well and are finding the gaps as well. Eight runs from the over.
Over 13 || Score 50/2
First bowling change as Tawanda Mupariwa has been brought into the attack. Good over first up by the seamer. 6 runs came in the last two overs. In the meantime, India have touched the 50-run mark.
Over 11 || Score 44/2
Rahane played two crunchy drives towards straight and cover region to get two boundaries. What a back-lift he has. Nine from the over.
Over 10 || Score 35/2
Rahane is still to open his account. Excellent spell of fast bowling by Chatara and Panyangara against the defending champions. India need 253 more runs from 40 overs. Four runs came in the last two overs.
Over 8 || Score 31/2
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have come to the middle after the fall of Indian openers in quick succession. Kohli played two classy shots to pick up his first two boundaries off Chatara. Ten from the over.
Over 7 || Score 21/2
Double blow for India. Rohit and Dhawan Out! India lost their first wicket as Rohit got the leading edge of his bat, while trying to launch the bowler over covers and Raza took a well judged catch. And after a gap of three balls, Dhawan got the inside edge of his bat and it hit his stumps. It's a double wicket maiden by Panyangara.
S Dhawan b Panyangara 4 (20b)
RG Sharma c Sikandar Raza b Panyangara 16 (21b)
Over 5 || Score 20/0
Cautious start by Indian openers as they are not looking in a hurry to score runs. 20 runs from the first five overs. Zimbabwe are still hunting for their first breakthrough.
Over 4 || Score 15/0
Dhawan hit the bowler towards mid-wicket to collect his first boundary of the match. Five runs from the over.
Chatara to continue.
Over 3 || Score 10/0
Both the strike bowlers are bowling at a decent pace and are getting good bounce from the wicket. They are not offering much room. Meanwhile, another good over as mere a single came off it.
Over 2 || Score 9/0
Excellent over first up the speedster as he bowled a maiden first up. Dhawan's feet are not moving at all.
Tendai Chatara is set to bowl from the other end.
Over 1 || Score 9/0
Two boundaries came in the first over, both from the willow of Sharma. India are chasing a tricky total of 287.
Indian openers -- Dhawan and Rohit -- have come to the middle. Tinashe Panyangara has the new ball in hand.
Over 48.5 || Score 287/10
Yadav picked up two wickets in the over to wrap up Zimbabwe innings as they couldn't manage to play the full quota of fifty overs. But riding on a superb ton by skipper Brendan Taylor Zimbabwe managed to put up a challenging total of 287 in front of India. All the Indian seamers -- Mohit, Yadav and Shami -- picked up three wickets each.
TL Chatara b Yadav 0 (3b)
RW Chakabva c RG Sharma b Yadav 10 (13b)
Yadav to bowl the penultimate over of the innings.
Over 48 || Score 286/8
Shami picked up his third wicket as Panyangara in trying to slog the bowler gave a simple catch to deep mid-wicket fielder. Excellent over by the strike bowler as he gave mere two runs and picked up a wicket as well.
T Panyangara c Yadav b Mohammed Shami 6 (6b)
Over 47 || Score 284/7
Panyangara is the new man in. And he flicked Yadav for a boundary towards square leg off the 2nd ball. 8 runs from the over.
Yadav is back to bowl his 9th over.
Over 46 || Score 276/7
Raza is now going for big hits. He clobbered Shami all over the park by hitting him for two sixes and a boundary. But off the last ball, the seamer bowled a perfect yorker to bowled him. Still 17 came from the over.
Sikandar Raza b Mohammed Shami 28 (15b)
Over 45 || Score 259/6
Regis Chakabva and Raza are in the middle. Decent over by the spinner as he conceded seven in it. Can India restrict Zimbabwe under 300?
Jadeja with his last over.
Over 44 || Score 252/6
Another wicket for Mohit. And this time he got the better of set batsman Ervine, with the help of another slower one. Off the third ball Raza smashed the bowler for a flat six over long on.250 up for Zimbbawe.
CR Ervine c & b MM Sharma 27 (41b)
Mohit with his last over.
Over 43 || Score 241/5
Sikandar Raza is the new man in. Now it's time for Ervine to take their score past 300. And he has the ability to hit the ball all over the park. Two runs from the over.
Over 42 || Score 239/5
Taylor Out! Mohit Sharma bowled as slower one to get the wicket of the skipper as he miss-timed his shot completely and gave a simple catch to Dhawan at mid-on.
BRM Taylor c Dhawan b MM Sharma 138 (110b)
Over 41 || Score 232/4
Taylor is looking unstoppable at the moment. He is hitting boundaries at will and is toying with Indian bowlers. In the over he hit Jadeja for two sixes and three boundaries as 25 runs came off it. Unbelievable Innings by Taylor. If Zimbabwe play like this they can easily cross the 300-run mark today.
Jadeja is back into the attack.
Over 40 || Score 207/4
Ervine is giving more strike to Taylor, which is a right thing to do at the moment. Seven from the over. Zimbabwe scored 49 runs in batting powerplay and haven't lost a wicket.
Mohit Sharma with his 8th over.
Over 39 || Score 200/4
Taylor completed his hundred in style by hitting Mohammed Shami for a six over third man. And with that he has become the first player for his country to smash consecutive hundreds in a World Cup.
Over 38 || Score 183/4
Another expensive over by Ashwin as Taylor hit two boundaries in it. 12 from the over. Taylor is playing superb cricket in the middle.
Over 37 || Score 171/4
Off the fifth ball, Taylor danced down the wicket to launch Yadav for six over long on. Eight runs from the over. Taylor has reached to 82 off 90 balls with the help of nine boundaries and a six.
Yadav to bwol the over.
Over 36 || Score 163/4
Batting Powerplay. Now it would be a good chance for Zimbabwe to accelerate their run rate a bit. On the other hand, India have a good chance too to take a couple of wickets as Zimbabwe batsmen will try to play some risky shots. Five runs came in the first over of powerplay bowled by Mohit.
Over 35 || Score 158/4
Taylor is looking unstoppable at the moment. In the 35th over, he smashed Ashwin for a six and a boundary to take Zimbabwe past 150. Can he score a hundred here? He certainly deserves one today, which is probably his last match for Zimbabwe.
Taylor is giving right treatment to loose balls. He launched Ashwin for a boundary towards cow corner to get 8 from the over.
Over 32 || Score 134/4
MSD is juggling his bowlers well. Now Mohit Sharma has replaced Yadav. Good over by the speedster as gave mere three in it.
Over 31 || Score 131/4
Now India should put some more pressure on Zimbabwe to pick up few more wickets here. Ervine too is a good hitter of the cricket ball. Yadav and Ashwin are bowling in tandem for India. Five runs came in the last two overs.
Over 29 || Score 126/4
Ashwin strikes! Finally Williams gave a low catch back to the offie. Ervine is the new batsman in.
SC Williams c & b Ashwin 50 (57b)
Over 28 || Score 125/3
Right move by Dhoni, as he brought back Umesh Yadav to break this partnership. In the meantime, both the batsmen -- Taylor and Williams -- completed their fifty. Yadav conceded six runs in his comeback over.
Over 26 || Score 117/3
William is dealing in sixes at the moment. He is now putting the pressure back on India, by counter-attacking them. In the mean time Zimbabwe have crossed the 100-run mark. William collected 16 runs off Ashwin's over by hitting him for two sixes and a boundary.
Over 24 || Score 98/3
First six off the match came from the willow of Williams as he clobbered Ashwin over midwicket. Nine from the over.
Over 23 || Score 89/3
Fifty-run partnership between Taylor and Williams. Now the runs are coming swiftly for Zimbabwe. Williams smashed his 2nd boundary off the match. Seven from the over.
Over 22 || Score 82/3
Ashwin has been brought back into the attack. Taylor has now started dealing in boundaries. In the last two overs he collected three boundaries, as Zimbabwe added 18 more runs to their total.
Over 20 || Score 64/3
India should break this partnership before it started troubling them. Both the batsmen are quite dangerous once they settle down because they have good rang of shots and can hit the bowlers all over the park. Three from the over.
Over 19 || Score 61/3
Jadeja is mixing up his deliveries up well. Taylor and Williams have added 28 runs thus far for the fourth wicket. Two runs from the over.
Over 18 || Score 59/3
Three runs came from the first three balls. No even a single came in the last three balls. Mohit has been impressive thus far -- 4-1-12-1.
Over 17 || Score 56/3
Both the batsmen collected a boundary each in the over bowled by Jadeja as ten runs came off it. Jadeja is thus far the most expensive bowler for India. And in the meanwhile, Zimbabwe crossed the 50-run mark.
Over 16 || Score 46/3
Williams and Taylor are the best batsmen Zimbabwe have. And these two have to be patient and should spend some time in the middle. Meanwhile, Sharma bowled another tight over as he gave three runs in it.
Over 15 || Score 43/3
Taylor has been in the middle for some time now, but he is still scratchy. One run came in the last two overs, as Sharma bowled the fourth maiden of the match.
Over 13 || Score 42/3
Now it's Jadeja who has come to bowl his first over of the match. Taylor swept the spinner for a boundary towards fine leg. The left-arm spinner gave six runs from his first over.
Over 12 || Score 36/3
Double bowling change! Spin for the first time as R Ashwin has been introduced into the attack. Tight first over by the offie as he gave mere three runs. Sean Williams is the new man in.
Over 11 || Score 33/3
First bowling change! Mohit Sharma has been given the ball to roll his arm. Mire welcomed the bowler with a boundary off his third ball towards gully region. But in the end Mohit has the last laugh. Mire Out! Off the last ball, Mohit got the outside edge off Mire's bat as Dhoni took the second catch of the match.
SF Mire c Dhoni b MM Sharma 9 (22b)
Over 10 || Score 27/2
Taylor hit Shami over long off to collect his first boundary. It was a shot full of confidence. Nine runs came in the last two overs. But first ten overs certianly belonged to India.
Over 8 || Score 18/2
Finally a decent over for Zimbabwe as they collected five from it. Umesh is generating good pace from the wicket.
Over 7 || Score 13/2
It's third consecutive maiden for India. Shami and Umesh are bowling superbly in this World Cup. Both the batsmen are living dangerously at the moment.
Over 6 || Score 13/2
Both the openers are back in the hut inside the first five overs. Solomon Mire and Brendan Taylor are the two new batsmen in the middle. Another maiden over, this time by Umesh. Taylor is probably representing Zimbabwe for the last time and he would definitely love to play a fine knock here.
Over 5 || Score 13/2
Another wicket! Shami bowled a back off length delivery, Chamu Chibhabha went for a back-foot punch towards cover region, got the outside edge, and Dhawan took a sharp diving catch at slip cordon. Poor start by Zimbabawe. It's a wicket maiden by Shami.
CJ Chibhabha c Dhawan b Mohammed Shami 7 (16b)
Over 4 || Score 13/1
Umesh Yadav strikes, Masakadza Out! He pitched the ball up, with a hint of away movement, the right-hander went for a drive, but only managed a thick outside edge and Dhoni took a simple catch in the end. Two runs from the over.
H Masakadza c Dhoni b Yadav 2 (8b)
Over 3 || Score 11/0
First boundary of the innings came from the bat of Chibhabha as he got the thick inside edge of his bat and the ball raced away behind the wickets. Shami is bowling some exceptional balls at the moment. Five runs from the over.
Over 2 || Score 6/0
The fastest from the Indian lot Umesh Yadav has the other new ball in hand. The speedster leaked three runs from his opening over.
Over 1 || Score 3/0
Chibhabha took a single off the third ball to open the account for Zimbabwe. Then came two more runs, both in the form of extras. Three runs from the first over.
Mohammed Shami is once again set to bowl the opening over of the match. Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha are opening the innings for Zimbabwe.
Toss: India have won the toss and elected to bowl first. No changes in both the teams.
Having reached the quarter-finals with one commanding performance after another, defending champions India will be aiming to finish their group league engagements with a flourish when they take on Zimbabwe in an ICC Cricket World Cup match, here on Saturday.
India are currently on a roll in the tournament as they have practically crushed most of their oppositions save the West Indies, which at the most gave them a scare during the group league game at the WACA in Perth.
Also read: ICC World Cup 2015 Schedule
The match against Zimbabwe is an inconsequential affair in terms of statistics but a chance to complete an all-win record is something that the 'Men in Blue' would like to take with them before the business end of the global event starts. Momentum is key in any tournament and there can't be better practice than match-practice when they get down at Eden Park against a Zimbabwean side that is second last in the table with a solitary win in five games.
It has been a terrific turnaround for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys as no one gave the team an outside chance of title defence after their indifferent show in the Test series against Australia followed by a poor performance in the ODI tri-series.
But in the past four weeks, the tables have turned for Dhoni and co. As they produced one superlative performance after another. So much so that all the experts are now considering India as one of the title contenders in the tournament.
Also read: ICC World Cup 2015 Points Table
Such has been India's domination in the tournament that Dhoni's boys have eclipsed the India record by winning nine straight games in the World Cup, including four matches in the previous edition.
So one can't think of a more convenient opposition to make it a 'Perfect 10', which will be an excellent boost before the quarter-final starts. For India, the going has been perfect in the tournament as it is difficult to find loopholes in their effort throughout the past one month.
The batting has been rock solid with all the top seven getting some runs under their belt but the story of the tournament so far has been their bowling. Considering that pitches prepared in Australia and New Zealand for this edition has been primarily batting tracks with good bounce, the Indian bowling unit has got all 50 opposition wickets in five matches.
The Indian bowlers have executed their skipper's plans to perfection and their consistency is seen to be believed. The likes of Mohammmed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma have hardly taken their foot off the pedal against good teams like Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies while UAE, Ireland found it difficult to counter the versatility of the attack.
Also read: ICC World Cup 2015 Venues - Auckland
Shami with 12 wickets has been the pick of Indian bowlers but there could be a healthy debate as to who has had more impact on the opposition --- Shami or Ashwin. In terms of wickets, Ashwin with 11 scalps to his credit is not far behind but what has been impressive about the Tamil Nadu bowler is his ability to put relentless pressure on the batsman.
Just like Indian batsmen had one pressure day in the group stages against West Indies where their top order stuttered, the Indian bowlers did face some questions asked by William Porterfield and Niall O'Brien in their match against Ireland, but it was Ashwin who had answered all queries. Along with Shami and Ashwin, Mohit's role has been fantastic. He comes in as the third pacer, bowls to one particular channel and can also work up brisk pace in the early 140 kmph.
It's been like Dhoni is running a computer program where everything is planned and executed with precision. Even Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, the two low key performers in the bowling unit have more or less done their job with utmost sincerity.
The fielding also has been excellent in the tournament with some fantastic run-outs being effected by the Indians. The catching has been safe if not spectacular. India's most assured area is batting and it has not let the team down one bit. Shikhar Dhawan's ability to rise to the occasion, especially during ICC tournaments have come to the fore once again as he now has 333 runs at an average of 66.60 and a strike rate of close to 100 (98.50). He is only third in highest run getters list with Kumar Sangakkara (496) and AB de Villiers (417 runs) ahead of him.
Also read: ICC World Cup 2015 Full Coverage
Zimbabwe throughout 90s was a team that was respected by the opponents. There were players like Flower brothers Grant and Andy, Neil Johnson, Murray Goodwin, Heath Streak who on their day could have given any team a run for their money. It's no longer the same for Zimbabwe cricket, which has been mired in controversies related to corruption in recent times.
With regular captain Elton Chigumbura injured, Brendan Taylor will be leading the side in his absence. It is not expected that they will pose any threat to India but if they can provide a decent fight, it will only hold them in good stead as there are hard days to come for the Associate nations. So expect another walk in the park for India.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny, Ambati Rayudu.
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (captain), Elton Chigumbura, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Prosper Utseya, Tinashe Panyangara, Tawanda Mupariwa, Solomon Mire, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Hamilton Maskadza, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Craig Ervine, Tandai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Regis Chakabva.