India's youngsters stunned Zimbabwe

Just a week after India became T20 World Champions, their second-choice unit suffered a shock loss to Zimbabwe in a low-scoring thriller in Harare. Zimbabwe

Jul 7, 2024 - 13:48
Jul 7, 2024 - 14:33
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India's youngsters stunned Zimbabwe

Just a week after India became T20 World Champions, their second-choice unit suffered a shock loss to Zimbabwe in a low-scoring thriller in Harare. Zimbabwe, with a point to prove after missing the cut for tournaments in the West Indies and USA, made a stunning comeback with the ball after a poor performance with the bat.

Difference between the two sides?

In low-scoring games, the margin for error is quite small. In the end, it came down to both sides starting on the powerplay. While Zimbabwe managed to hit eight boundaries and score 40 in the powerplay, India were stunned big-time as their young guns were stranded at 28/4 in the opening session with back-to-back dismissals.

Zimbabwe

Pawplay - India, Zimbabwe trade clash

Phase Score - 40/2 [RR: 6.66, 4s/6s: 8/0]

India could have tested themselves by batting first by opting for three debutants in the form of Abhishek Sharma, Dhruv Jurel and Ryan Parag. However, Shubman Gill won the toss and elected to bowl first and Mukesh Kumar dented the hosts' start with the very first ball of the second over. Brian Bennett came out with intent and collected a couple of early boundaries that saw Zimbabwe race to 40 in five overs but Ravi Bishnoi got rid of the dangerous Bennett and bowled a wicket maiden to stop the powerplay in fine fashion.

Zimbabwe lost their way in the middle overs

Phase Score - 50/5 [RR: 5.55, 4s/6s: 2/1]

40/2 after the powerplay is certainly a decent score on a track that wasn't a belter. However, Zimbabwe failed to bat well in the middle of the innings as the visitors hit at regular intervals. Bishnoi struck with a googly in his second over and although Zimbabwe got some runs off Abhishek and Avesh Khan, the pacer redeemed himself with the big wicket of skipper Sikandar Raja as the experienced top-edge pull. Washington Sundar was very stingy with his spell and was rewarded with wickets in consecutive deliveries that put India completely on top as Zimbabwe went into the death overs on 90/7.

Death over - Zimbabwe drag themselves to 115

Phase Score - 25/2 [RR: 5.0, 4s/6s - 4/0]

Zimbabwe not being bowled out was a surprise as 90/7 became 90/9 in six more deliveries as Bishnoi ended his spell with four wickets. However, the last wicket pair of Clive Madande and Tendai Chatara hung in there for the home side and batted out the rest of the overs. Madnade managed to pull his team close to 120 with three fours in that final over.

India

Powerplay - Shocking start from Zimbabwe

Phase Score - 28/4 [RR: 4.66, 4s/6s - 4/0]

Simply put, no one saw this coming. A chase that was supposed to be a walk in the park for India quickly turned into a nightmare. Abhishek mistimed Abhishek and was caught by the only man near deep midwicket for a zero in the first over. Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad played two brilliant shots, the latter caught at slip behind Blessing Mujarabani. By the end of the fifth over, they were properly in trouble as Chatara dismissed both Parag and Rinku Singh in three deliveries to leave India at 22/4. It almost became 22/5 after Gill was dismissed lbw but the skipper managed to overturn the decision on review.

MIDDLE OVER - India continue to stutter

Phase Score - 47/3 [RR: 5.22, 4s/6s - 6/0]

After that disastrous start, India took Shubman Gill as their hope. Dhruv Jurel, on the other hand, gave time to get into his groove and broke the chain with a boundary to Luke Jongwe. But the bowler struck back immediately as the batsman hit a strike at short cover as India lost half their team within 10 overs. Zimbabwe were in complete control in the next over when Raja got rid of his opposite number as India's biggest hope was dashed. Bishnoi tried to keep the score going with a few boundaries but Raja made sure there were no more fireworks from him. In the last five, the visitors needed 41 runs with Washington taking their faint hopes.

DEATH OVER - Washington hits the final hurdle

Phase Score - 27/3 [RR - 5.58, 4s/6s - 3/1]

Avesh was the next lower-order batsman to threaten the hosts with a boundary but he too was stopped in his tracks before he could do any major damage. Raja put his side in pole position when Mukesh failed to bat in the last two deliveries of the 17th over. With 30 to go, India finally hit their first six of the innings when Washington delivered one over deep midwicket followed by a four. The all-rounder was able to sustain the strike with a single from the last delivery of the over. But needing 18 off 12 balls, Mujarabani and Chatara kept Washington at bay, thus building the pressure. With the equation down to 14 off 3 balls, Chatara completed the task with the last delivery to give Zimbabwe a memorable victory.

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