Zimbabwe vs India 1st T20: All-round India cruise past Zimbabwe

Patel finished with figures of 3-17 off four overs on debut

Patel finished with figures of 3-17 off four overs on debut

Image courtesy of: NDTV

India were highly impressive in the first Twenty20 International in Harare as they put together a superb all-round performance to ease past Zimbabwe by 54 runs.

Even though none of India’s batsmen were able to convert their encouraging starts into big scores, Robin Uthappa, Murali Vijay and captain Ajinkya Rahane made 39, 34 and 33 respectively to help their side finish on 178/5 off their 20 overs.

Chris Mpofu was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Graeme Cremer chipped in with one.

Chasing 179 to win, Zimbabwe were unable to muster any offense whatsoever and struggled right from the get-go.

Openers Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha were the only two batsmen to surpass the 20-run mark as they scored 28 and 23 respectively.

With all of the other batsmen failing to fire, Zimbabwe found themselves well short of their target after their 20 overs were up.

Debutant Akshar Patel was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Harbhajan Singh took two and Mohit Sharma claimed one.

Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura was not impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “We were outclassed all around today. It’s very disappointing. I thought we gave them 10 to 15 runs too many. And also in the second innings, the wicket got dryer and became two-paced. Became difficult to try and play some strokes. They bowled well as well, changing the pace. Mainly the batting side was disappointing. It doesn’t help when you lose wickets. Credit to the bowlers. Important to try and play our best cricket on Sunday and hopefully we get a better result.”

Rahane was pleased to have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, and said: “I think first of all we batted very well. Between 160 and 170 would be a good total and, as I said at the toss, our spinners came handy. It became a little slower later on, but still the bowlers had to do well. No initial movement so slightly easier to bat in the first innings. The way we batted in the middle overs, taking singles and twos, that was crucial on a big ground.”

Patel was named Man of the Match, and said: “Obviously, I bowled to my strengths. Cut the pace off the ball, so batsmen can’t hit me. So I was rewarded. I like the Dukes ball, more pronounced seam to grip.”

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