gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Zimbabwe Stuns World Champions India to Take 1-0 Lead in T20I Series – The Zimbabwe Mail

Zimbabwe Stuns World Champions India to Take 1-0 Lead in T20I Series

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HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe pulled off a stunning victory against India, defending a modest total of 115 to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match T20I series. Zimbabwe’s bowlers, led by Tendai Chatara and Sikandar Raza, restricted India to 102 in 19.5 overs, securing a 13-run win.

India, fresh off their T20 World Cup triumph, fielded a different XI in Harare. Debutants Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, and Dhruv Jurel were included as India opted to bowl first after winning the toss.

Zimbabwe started strong but crumbled to 115 for 9, thanks to Ravi Bishnoi’s career-best 4 for 13 and Washington Sundar’s 2 for 11. However, the hosts made a spirited comeback with the ball.

India’s chase began disastrously with Abhishek Sharma falling for a duck, Ruturaj Gaikwad for 7, Parag for 0, and Rinku Singh for 2. When Sikandar Raza bowled Shubman Gill for 31, India’s hopes dimmed further.

India required 16 runs off the final over with Washington Sundar at the crease. Chatara, maintaining his composure, conceded just two runs off four balls and dismissed Washington on the fifth, igniting wild celebrations in Harare.

Zimbabwe’s bowlers were on point from the start. Raza opened the bowling with spinners Brian Bennett and Wellington Masakadza. Abhishek Sharma top-edged Bennett to deep backward square leg in the first over. Blessing Muzarabani then had Gaikwad edging to slip. Chatara dismissed Parag and Rinku in quick succession, reducing India to 28 for 4 after six overs.

Gill attempted a repair job with Dhruv Jurel, but runs were hard to come by. Jurel fell to Luke Jongwe’s slower ball, caught at extra cover. Raza’s carrom ball then bowled Gill, leaving India at 47 for 6 in 10.2 overs. Despite a brief stand between Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar, India could not recover. Chatara and Raza finished with three wickets each, sealing the memorable win.

Zimbabwe’s innings started with a flourish as Wessly Madhevere drove Khaleel Ahmed for a four. However, Mukesh Kumar dismissed Innocent Kaia with the first ball of his spell. Bennett and Madhevere added runs swiftly before Bishnoi’s variations wreaked havoc. Bennett was bowled for 22, and Madhevere was clean-bowled soon after.

Raza’s six off Avesh Khan briefly steadied the innings, but his departure sparked a collapse. From 74 for 3, Zimbabwe tumbled to 90 for 9, with Bishnoi and Washington dismantling the middle and lower order.

A last-wicket stand of 25 between Clive Madande and Chatara pushed Zimbabwe to 115, a total that proved just enough. The match marked Zimbabwe’s first victory against India in any format since 2016 and set the stage for an exciting T20I series.