Zimbabwe stuns India in nail-biting thriller, wins first T20 match of series

Despite restricting Zimbabwe to a below-par total Indian batting failed to capitalise on the momentum.
Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza celebrates a wicket during the T20 cricket match against India at Harare Sports club
Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza celebrates a wicket during the T20 cricket match against India at Harare Sports club(Photo | AP)

In an intense thriller of a match, India failed to chase 115 against Zimbabwe in what seemed to be a sure win for India after the first innings. India was down to the last wicket as the team had to chase 30 runs in three overs.

However, India lost the last wicket in the second last ball of the game as Zimbabwe sealed the victory against the young Indian squad. In an impressive display, Zimbabwe outplayed India to lead the series after the first game.

Zimbabwe compensated for their under-par total as they took four of India's important wickets in the powerplay. India scored 28 runs in six overs.

Shot selections of the top-order batters contributed to a poor start for India's batting. Abhishek Sharma played three dot balls before being dismissed by Brian Bennett in the fourth ball of the first over. Ruturaj Gaikwad got caught behind by an impressive catch by Innocent Kaia on the first slip. Riyan Parag and Rinku Singh got caught out to put India's chase in looming trouble.

FIRST INNINGS

Zimbabwe's batting lineup crippled to Indian spinners as the former finished the first innings with 115 runs losing nine wickets.

Ravi Bishnoi finished the innings with four wickets and conceded 13 runs in his four overs. Washington Sundar led behind Bishnoi with two wickets and 11 runs in his four overs. Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan took a wicket each.

India had won the toss and elected to bowl in the first game of the T20 series against Zimbabwe at Harare.

Shubman Gill will be leading Team India’s young squad in this short format. Abhishek Sharma and Riyan Parag will make their international cricket debuts.

Sanju Samson, Shivam Dubey and Yashasvi Jaiswal were replaced for the first two matches of the series as they were stranded in Barbados due to cyclonic storms. Sai Sudarshan, Jitesh Sharma and Harshit Rana were named as replacements.

Zimbabwe had lost four of the last five T20 internationals. India had recently won the T20 World Cup against South Africa. Veteran players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja had announced their retirement from T20s after their win over South Africa.

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