New Delhi: A magnificent century from Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura went in vain as India defeated the hosts by 4 runs in the first ODI played at Harare Sports Club.
Over 50 | Score 206/6 (Chigumbura 104*, Tiripano 1*)
Guess what, Zimbabwe needed just 10 runs to win off the last 6 balls, and they failed to do so! Their skipper has played a magnificent knock here, but for a losing cause. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled the last over of the innings, a superb one where he conceded just five runs.
Over 45 | Score 206/6 (Chigumbura 72*, Cremer 17*)
The skipper continues to fight a lone battle for his team and the Indian team is now under pressure since they haven't picked a wicket in the last five overs. Chigumbura has added 21 runs in the last five overs and he has received good company in Cremer who is also playing a fine innings. The hosts now need 50 runs off 30 balls and as we all know, the skipper's wicket is the key here.
Over 40 | Score 173/6 (Chigumbura 51*, Cremer 6*)
The skipper continues to show resilience as his troops are collapsing. Chigumbura has reached yet another half-century while seeing his team-mates depart one after the other. His wicket is the key here and India need to get rid of him as soon as possible.
R Mutumbami c Harbhajan Singh b Binny 7 (16b)
Sikandar Raza c Patel b Harbhajan Singh 37 (33b)Over 30 | Score 122/2 (Chigumbura 33*, Raza 22*)
Axar Patel brought India back in the game by dismissing Masakadza and Williams in successive overs. While the former hit one straight towards covers, Williams was beaten by spin and was bowled. The captain is still there at the crease and the onus is on him to play a big innings here. Sikandar Raza is there to give him company.
SC Williams b Patel 0 (2b)
H Masakadza c Tiwary b Patel 34 (64b)Over 20 | Score 77/2 (Masakadza 30*, Chigumbura 10*)
After playing a fine innings, Binny made his presence felt with the ball as well as he scalped the wicket of Sibanda, who slapped him for a six off the previous ball. It was a short of a length ball and Sibanda failed to clear Harbhajan at mid-on. Since then, skipper Chigumbura is in the process of stitching a healty partnership with Masakadza.
V Sibanda c Harbhajan Singh b Binny 20 (35b)
Over 10 | Score 34/1 (Masakadza 14*, Sibanda 10*)
India got their first breakthrough in the fifth over of the innings when Chibhabha edged one towards the slip cordon and was brilliantly caught by Rahane. Barring that loss, the hosts have batted pretty decently so far. They have a strong batting line up and India will have to keep taking wickets to stay on top of the game.
CJ Chibhabha c Rahane b Kumar 3 (12b)
Over 50 | Score 255/6 (Rayudu 124*, Binny 21*)
Considering the kind of start they have had, it has been a spectacular comeback from the Indian team, courtesy an superb partnership between Rayudy and Binny for the sixth wicket.
Binny was dismissed in the penultimate over of the innings where he went hard after a wide ball and edged it behind the wicket. He played a formidable hand for the team, while Rayudu remained unbeaten on 124. The momentum has now shifted in India's favour and the bowlers should capitalise on it as well.
Over 45 | Score 136/5 (Rayudu 104*, Binny 21*)
Rayudu and Binny have batted brilliantly today and the entire team would be very proud of the way these two have steadies the ship from dire straits. While Rayudu has completed a century, Binny has completed his maiden half-century. It's time for these two to change gears and aim to put at least 250 runs on the board.
Over 35 | Score 136/5 (Rayudu 65*, Binny 21*)
Rayudu and Binny have taken the pressure back on Zimbabwe with a formidable counter-attack. These two are batting with a lot of positive intent and are on their way of taking their team to a respectable position. Chigumbura would want his bowlers to strike back once again.
Over 25 | Score 89/5 (Rayudu 39*, Binny 1*)
India are in a precarious position at the moment having lost four wickets in the last ten overs. After getting off to another good start, Rahane was dismissed for 34 by Tiripano. Manoj Tiwary was the next batsman to be dismissed as he was trapped in front of the wicket for Chibhabha. Robin Uthappa was unlucky as he was run out and couldn't even open his account. Jadhav was the next batsman to be dismissed as he edged one to the keeper in the 25th over of the innings!
KM Jadhav c Mutumbami b Chibhabha 5 (13b)
RV Uthappa run out 0 (3b)
MK Tiwary lbw b Chibhabha 2 (14b)
AM Rahane c Masakadza b Tiripano 34 (49b)
Over 16 | Score 54/1 (Rahane 29*, Rayudu 22*)
Rahane and Rayudu continue to stitch a valuable partnership for India. But the matter of concern for the Indian team is the rate at which they are scoring the runs. They cannot afford to score at the same rate in the next five to ten overs.
Over 11 | Score 36/1 (Rahane 18*, Rayudu 15*)
Rayudu and Rahane have adopted a cautious approach since the departure of Murali Vijay. They aren't scoring runs freely, which is also because Zimbabwe bowlers have been pretty disciplined with their line and length as well. The hosts will be happy with their performance so far. Rayudu and Rahane have now constructed a partnership of 27. But the Zimbabwean bowlers have not allowed them to score freely. The duo will now be looking to pick up the scoring rate.
Over 5 | Score 14/1 (Rahane 7*, Rayudu 4*)
India lost their 1st wicket in the fourth over as Vijay edged Vitori's length ball to Sibanda at second slip. The right-hander will be disappointed with this loose shot. Ambati Rayudu is the new man in for India. Great start by the Zimbabwean bowlers so far.
M Vijay c Sibanda b Vitori 1 (9b)
Over 2 | Score 7/0 (Rahane 5*, Vijay 0*)
Brian Vitori took the second new ball for Zimbabwe. Rahane got off the mark in the second over with a double.
Over 1 | Score 0/0 (Rahane 0*, Vijay 0*)
Tinashe Panyangara bowled the first over of the innings for the hosts. Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay opened the batting for India. The right-arm pacer was impressive in his opening over, bowling a maiden to Indian skipper Rahane.
Toss and team news
Zimbabwe win the toss and choose to bowl.
Zimbabwe XI: Sikandar Raza, V Sibanda, H Masakadza, CJ Chibhabha, E Chigumbura, SC Williams, R Mutumbami, AG Cremer, DT Tiripano, BV Vitori, T Panyangara
India XI: AM Rahane, M Vijay, AT Rayudu, MK Tiwary, RV Uthappa, KM Jadhav, STR Binny, AR Patel, Harbhajan Singh, B Kumar, DS Kulkarni
With several seniors and key players rested for the tour, the players chosen will be hungry to deliver in order to stay in the selectors' fray. The likes of Murali Vijay, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Manoj Tiwary who were knocking at the door will finally get a chance to show they deserve frequent chances in the team.
In the absence of regular openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, the onus will lie on Vijay and Uthappa to give India a solid start. It also serves as a great chance for Pandey and Tiwary to consolidate the middle order and they know a chance begging would make life difficult for them. Also in the pack lies Ambati Rayudu whose performances off late has been quite patchy.
There are a few places in the regular ODI team that are up for grabs and the batsmen's application at the crease will serve as an important factor for the selectors.
Rahane holds the impetus in being the most solid player and he will hope to guide the others in making this opportunity count.