ZIMBABWE: The opening ODI encounter at the Harare Sports Club in Zimbabwe was easily defeated by India by a margin of ten wickets thanks to the opening pair of Shubman Gill and Shikhar Dhawan. It was a commanding performance from the visitors, who gave Zimbabwe no chance to rally and quickly seized a 1-0 series lead after the match.
To help the team reach the modest target of 190, KL Rahul gave up his opening position to Shubman Gill. The young batsman didn’t let his captain down, remaining unbeaten on 82 off 72 balls. He smashed ten fours and a six to put the hosts on the back foot as he maintained his stellar form with the bat. While facing 113 balls, veteran Shikhar Dhawan played a very calm and composed 81-run* innings. To complement his young opening partner, the southpaw hit nine fours.
Zimbabwe tried eight different bowlers to get a wicket, but they were utterly unsuccessful as India triumphed by ten wickets in just 30.5 overs. At the beginning of the innings, Gill was a little rusty, but after facing 15 deliveries, he looked flawless and hit some beautiful shots.
Earlier, Rahul won the toss and decided to bowl first. Deepak Chahar, returning after recovering from an injury, quickly removed both Zimbabwe’s openers by edging the ball to the wicketkeeper behind the stumps.
During initial overs, none of the Zimbabwean batters appeared to be at ease since Chahar often got pitches that darted back late while others straightened after pitching.
Sean Williams, a seasoned player, was dismissed by Mohammed Siraj on just one, further hurting the hosts. Chahar proved superior to the Zimbabwean top order, defeating Wesley Madhevere on five as well.
Chahar appeared to be in fantastic form on his comeback, favorably positioning himself for the next T20 World Cup. Zimbabwe reached 200 runs when Brad Evans (33) and Richard Ngarava (34) put together a 70-run stand for the ninth wicket in Harare.
For India, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, and Axar Patel each grabbed three wickets as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 189, failing to register a competitive total.
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