HARARE: A fortunate century by opener Shikhar Dhawan and some incisive bowling from left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat guided India to a 58-run victory over Zimbabwe in the second One-Day International (ODI) yesterday.
Dhawan was gifted three lives on his way to 116 as India posted an imposing 294 for eight, but there was nothing lucky about Unadkat’s bowling as he stamped out a promising start by Zimbabwe and finished with figures of four for 41.
Although Zimbabwe won the toss and gained the right to bowl first in helpful conditions, they produced a ramshackle performance in the field and gave away soft wickets during their reply.
The hosts dismissed Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the opening 10 overs, but Dhawan led a charmed life as he was caught off a Kyle Jarvis no-ball, dropped by wicket-keeper Brendan Taylor when he was on just 14 and then put down again when he was on 70.
Dhawan made the most of the opportunities, putting on a 159-run stand with Dinesh Karthik to guide India out of trouble after they had slumped to 65 for four.
India finished strongly as R Vinay Kumar and Shami Ahmed took 23 runs from the final over, which was bowled by left-arm spinner Sean Williams.
Zimbabwe made a confident start to their reply on an improving pitch, led mainly by Vusi Sibanda’s half-century.
However Unadkat’s controlled bowling turned the innings around as his first two overs went for just six runs, and his third brought the wicket of Zimbabwe opener Sikandar Raza.
Zimbabwe’s innings faded rapidly as Sibanda and Taylor’s wickets were claimed after Unadkat’s next return.
Elton Chigumbura hit 46 and Prosper Utseya scored an unbeaten 52, but Zimbabwe managed to only reach 236 for nine.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2013.
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