Team India put on a flawless performance to register a crushing 10-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the first ODI at Harare Sports Club on Thursday (August 18).
Opting to bowl first, India bundled out the hosts for a paltry 189 in 40.3 overs. Deepak Chahar (3-27) was brilliant with the new ball as he dismissed Zimbabwe’s top three cheaply while Prasidh Krishna (3-50) and Akshar Patel (3-24) ran through the middle and lower order.
It was an abysmal batting display from Zimbabwe as no batter managed to touch the 40-run mark. Skipper Regis Chakabva was the top scorer with 35.
In reply, the visitors rode on unbeaten half-centuries from Shubman Gill (82* off 72 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (81* off 113 balls) to get over the line in 30.5 overs.
Speaking after the game, India stand-in skipper KL Rahul praised his bowlers for their stunning show in the first half.
“There was a bit of swing and seam movement as well, but it was good to see the bowlers stay disciplined and pick up those wickets,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation.
The match saw the return of Rahul and Chahar after recovering from injuries, while wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav also made his comeback to the ODI side after a while.
“We do play a lot of cricket and injuries are going to be part of it. Being away from the game is really hard. It is a tough time and we worked together (me, Kuldeep and Deepak) in Bangalore,” Rahul stated.
“For a few of us, it is great to be back in the Indian dressing room. As a team we have been in good form, good to see that all of us are getting enough game time. Feels good to be out there,” he added.
With this victory, India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. The second ODI is slated to be held at the same venue on Saturday (August 20).
(With Cricbuzz inputs)