Harare: Inspired by some disciplined bowling led by medium-pacer Jasprit Bumrah, India restricted Zimbabwe to a paltry 168 in the first One-Day International (ODI) at the Harare Sports Club here on Saturday. Continuing his brilliant run with the ball from the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bumrah (4/28) led the young Indian bowling attack and was well assisted by the duo of Dhawal Kulkarni and Barinder Sran with figures of 2/42 each.
The spin combo of Axar Patel (1/26) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/27) were also amongst the wickets. Former skipper Elton Chigumbura (41) was the top scorer for the hosts while Sikander Raza (23) and Craig Ervine (21) got decent starts in what turned out to be an awful day for the other batsmen. Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s ploy to send Zimbabwe to bat paid off, as the hosts got off to a poor start with wickets tumbling at regular intervals.
None of the batsmen looked intimidating as the bowlers stuck to a perfect line without allowing many freebies. Under pressure from the visitor’s disciplined bowling and fielding, Zimbabwe managed to get to the 50-run mark only in the 16th over and took another 13 overs to get to the three figure mark with nine boundaries in total. Earlier, India included three debutants — Lokesh Rahul, Karun Nair and Chahal — in what is the first of the three match ODI series. Post the ODIs, both the teams will face off in a three-match T20 series. –IANS
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