New Delhi: Prodigious Lokesh Rahul on Saturday became the first Indian batsman to hit a century on One-Day International debut, as he helped Men in Blue thrash Zimbabwe by nine wickets at Harare.
Chasing a modest target of 169 runs, India opted to open the innings with two debutants in Karun Nair and Rahul.
For the record, last time two debutants opened for India in an ODI was in 1976, when Parthasarthi Sharma and Dilip Vengsarkar opened against New Zealand in Christchurch.
But India soon lost Nair in the third ball of fourth over.
After a slow start, Rahul with Ambati Rayudu batted as seasoned pros, producing an unbeaten 162-run second wicket partnership in 38 overs.
Rahul, who has a good Indian Premier League season with Royal Challengers Bangalore reached his maiden ton with a six, and win the match, off the third ball of the 43rd over, bowled by Hamilton Masakadza.
When he reached 87 runs in the 39th over, he broke Robin Uthappa's record for an Indian debutant batsman to score highest score. Uthappa scored 86 on debut, against England in 2006.