2 International debutants, 2 one day debutants and both captains leading their country for the first time ever ~ is a recipe for strange scripts and that's exactly what we had at Queens sports club in Bulawayo today as Elton Chigumbura gave away 20 wides & byes while Suresh Raina failed to force break the partnerships..
First India v Zimbabwe head to head in almost half a decade, Micromaxx cup triseries kicked off with a remarkable game today as Zimbabwe chased down solid 284, and registered only their 9th win against India in 50th encounter. it all started with, as usual, the coin toss which Raina won and elected to bat first, ignoring the fact that his team had landed in African nation just 24 hours ago and it was an early morning start. Opener Dinesh Karthik admitted he was jet-lagged but Chigumbura's ill-directed bowling helped visitors notch up 56 run opening stand from first 9 overs untill Murali Vijay was run out smartly by wicket keeper Brendon Taylor (handling gloves only because Tatenda Taibu pulled off due to foot injury at last moment), flicking ball onto stumps as batsman was lazy making his crease. Virat Kohli was run out without facing a ball, responding to bad call by Karthik who himself fell to some very accurate bowling from Raymond Price and Prosper Utseya.
56 for no loss to 61 for 3, Indians required a partnership desperately and captain Suresh Raina oblidged, adding 67 runs with Rohit Sharma but was dismissed trying to accelerate. Ravindra Jadeja was promoted up the order ahead of Yusuf Pathan and he started to accumulate runs in his usual manner.
Rohit Sharma was slow to start, scoring his first fifty runs off 85 balls (with just one four) but his next 50 came off just 31 balls as he raised his maiden international century and propelled India's total to 285, collecting 58 off their batting powerplay, when a score of 250 once looked very satisfactory.
Zimbabwe opening stand between Hamilton Masakadza and Brendon Taylor was their backbone of long chase they were up against. both right handers played their shots, specially the pull shots and proved Indian inexperienced pace attack non-lethal on a hot afternoon as they added 88 for first wicket and then 63 between Gregory Lamb & Brendon Taylor for the second wicket.
Craig Ervine had played few games for Zimbabwe in twenty20 side and he he used his experience very well on his one day debut to score an important 51 ball half century to take home team home, helped by 25 ball 32 by Charls Coventry and 16 ball unbeaten 24 by captain Elton Chigumbura.
The scoresIndia 285 for 5 wickets in 50 overs
Rohit Sharma 114, R Jadeja 61*, S Raina 37
Zimbabwe 289 for 4 in 48.2 overs (won by 6 wkts)
B Taylor 81, C Ervine 67*, H Masakadza 46, C Coventry 32.
Full scorecard : India v Zimbabwe, Match 1, Micromaxx triseries 2010.
No Indian commentatorHome broadcasters Tensports has fielded an all African commentary team for this Micromaxx triseries without a single voice of Indian perspective. In my 5 years of cricket blogging and over 15 years of watching the game we love, this has to be first time when India is playing without an Indian in commentary panel.
Highest chaseZimbabwe scored their biggest winning total against India today, overhauling 284 they had achieved and won the game at Jaipur.. with just 1 wicket in hand that time.