It is not often that I get to write a headline like this and in fact Zimbabwe’s seven-wicket win is our largest victory over India in one day internationals ever! It is also the first time that we have beaten them in back-to-back games in our cricketing history.
Zimbabwe bounced back from their poor showing against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo on Tuesday and as if to prove that their first win over India last Friday wasn’t a fluke, Zimbabwe won even more convincingly – with a bonus point this time, which means that our qualification for the final of this tri-series is highly possible.
India Bat First
The day started well with Zimbabwe winning the toss and deciding to put India into bat and on a slow pitch at the Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe’s four spinners led by Greg Lamb (3-45) combined beautifully. Our opening bowlers, Andy Blignaut and Ray Price, gave India no free scoring opportunities and it must be said that India’s Dinesh Karthik and M Vijay were also very cautious scoring only 26 runs in the first 10 overs (five of them in wides). The result was to restrict India to a very gettable 194-9, with only Ravindra Jadeja (51) getting a decent score for India.
The Zimbabwe Innings
Watching Zimbabwe’s Tatenda Taibu who was due to come into bat at number 3 sitting on the boundary waiting to come into bat (main picture) was a feature of the day as Zimbabwe’s opening pair of Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza punished the bowlers, adding 128 runs in 26.3 overs, which is Zimbabwe’s highest for the first wicket against India, bettering the 121 between Grant Flower and Alistair Campbell at Vadodara on April 5, 199
When the opening stand was broken, it was man of the match Brendan Taylor who having made 83 in the previous game against India was the first to go as he was caught by Murali Vijay off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha for 74. Taylor was strong on the backfoot, plundering six fours and one six from 90 balls and he has now also scored 1038 runs at Harare and is the only the third batsman to do so, joining Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower (1291) and Grant Flower (1099)
Taibu still had to wait as Zimbabwe who were now obviously already looking for the bonus point win decided to send in Charles Coventry, who scored a brisk 20 of 23 balls.
Masakadza eventually fell for 66 runs off 86 balls after Virat Kohli held on to a great catch from the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja having faced 86 balls and smashed four fours and two towering sixes off spinner Amit Mishra in the 31st over. This was Hamilton’s first fifty against India and his 16th overall.
By this time Zimbabwe were well on course for the win, with Elton Chigumbura (16 not out) and Tatenda Taibu (13 not out) easing the side home with plenty of overs in hand.
After the game Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said that he “thought all the bowlers bowled really well and when we batted, we knew it was just a matter of getting good partnerships, and Hami and BT batted really well.” He also revealed that he persuaded coach Alan Butcher to play Blignaut instead of Chris Mpofu. – “He is a very fair coach,” Chigumbura said. “Our relationship is good because we meet each halfway. I know what he wants and he knows what I want. For example, today I wanted Andy Blignaut to play and he wanted Chris Mpofu to play.”
Blignaut, returned that faith shown in him and bowled a full spell for Zimbabwe for the first time since his international cricket comeback a few months ago. He has been used mainly as a middle-order batsman who bowled a bit. But today he extracted good movement to claim 1-23 from his 10 overs. “During practice he (Blignaut) has been bowling well and we thought if we drop Chris instead (of Blignaut) it will give us good balance because Blignaut can also bat.”
- This is the first time that Zimbabwe has recorded successive wins against India in ODIs. In their previous ODI against India at Bulawayo on May 28, 2010, Zimbabwe won by six wickets.
- Zimbabwe’s seven-wicket win is the 10th against India in ODIs out of 51 played – winning % 21.56 (Lost 39 and Tied 2).
- Zimbabwe’s seven-wicket victory is the biggest over India at Harare and the second biggest against India ever, next only to the eight-wicket victory at Bulawayo on February 15, 1997.
- Greg Lamb’s (3/45) is to date his career-best bowling performance in ODIs.
- Blignaut captured his 50th wicket in ODIs – his victim being Ravindra Jadeja.
- Brendan Taylor’s second half-century (74 off 90 balls) against India is his 19th in ODIs and has now scored 1500 runs at home at an average of 36.58, including twelve fifties, in 48 matches. He has now also scored 1038 runs at Harare and is the only the third batsman to do so, joining Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower (1291) and Grant Flower (1099).
The next game in the Series is on Saturday June 5th where India will take on Sri Lanka at the Harare Sports Club and then Zimbabwe play Sri Lanka also at HSC on June 7th. The final is on June 9th.
Zimbabwe Cricket Books
Amazon, have a bunch of Zim related cricket books, including "Blood, Sweat And Treason" by Henry Olonga, “A History of the Rhodesia and Zimbabwe National Sides” by Jonty Winch who traces the history of cricket in this country (Zimbabwe) from the first recorded game played in 1890, through two World Wars and a guerilla war, to the comparative peace of post-independence and eventual world recognition in the 1980s when Zimbabwe was able to send a side to England to take part in the I.C.C. Trophy competition which it won.
There is also the Autobiography of another great Zimbabwean cricket coach Duncan Fletcher “Behind the Shades”
At the moment Amazon UK don’t have as wide selection as the US site, but I have ordered books from the US and had them delivered to the UK with no problems.
Zimbabwe Cricket on Amazon.co.uk