India take 4-0 lead with another big win against Zimbabwe
Bulawayo: A merciless India maintained their stranglehold over minnows Zimbabwe as they cruised to a resounding nine-wicket win in the fourth cricket one-dayer to extend their lead to 4-0 in the five-match series here on Thursday.
Opting to field after winning the toss, India bowled out Zimbabwe for a paltry 144, and then chased down the target with 115 balls remaining at Queens Sports Club.
For India, leg-spinner Amit Mishra scalped three wickets for 25 runs, while debutant Mohit Sharma (2/26) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/28) picked up two apiece. Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat also accounted for one wicket each.
Rohit Sharma (64 not out) and Suresh Raina (65 not out) were the two main contributors with the bat as the visitors extended Zimbabwe`s winless run.
Raina struck six fours during his 71-ball knock while Rohit found the fence five times and cleared it once during his 90-ball innings.
Chasing a small total, India suffered an early blow as they lost debutant Cheteshwar Pujara with the scoreboard reading 23 for one in the 10th over.
The 25-year-old Saurashtra player was bowled by Tendai Chatara while trying to go for a drive to an incoming delivery only to see his leg-stump getting uprooted. Glimpses of the batsman`s talent was evident as he creamed Michael Chinouya for two boundaries through the off-side before being dismissed.
Pujara`s wicket was the lone success Zimbabwe tasted as Raina along with Rohit shared a second-wicket partnership of 122 runs to take India home.
Playing sensible cricket, the duo of Raina and Rohit brought up the fifty partnership in 61 balls.
While Raina was more flashier of the two, Rohit looked content playing second fiddle to the left-handed batsman who has not been in the best of form in recent times.
Adopting a careful approach, Rohit however did not miss out on the loose balls. Brian Vitori`s wide half-volley was spanked through cover point and then guided Prosper Utseya through the same region.