India scrapes past Zimbabwe in final T20


June 23, 2016
Indian batsman Mahendra Dhoni in action at the wicket during their T20 cricket match against Zimbabwe in Harare, yesterday. India won the match to win the series 2-1. (AP Photo)


India survived a nervous finish to beat Zimbabwe by three runs in the final Twenty20 yesterday and clinch the series 2-1.

Needing a four for victory off the last ball, Zimbabwe's Elton Chigumbura couldn't quite hit a full toss from Barinder Sran over the covers and was caught by Yuzvendra Chahal. If Chigumbura's lofted drive was just a little higher, Zimbabwe could have been series winners.

Asked to bat, India reached 138-6, with Kedar Jadhav leading with a half-century and appearing well in control near the end of the match. Zimbabwe needed 32 off the last two overs and 21 off the last over.

Seamer Sran, one of India's two best bowlers on the day, gave up 17 runs off the first five balls of that final over including a wide and a no ball. He finally got it together, and Chahal and India just held on to win the series.

Jadhav made 58 from 42 balls in India's innings, and Axar Patel added 20 precious runs in the final overs to push India to a reasonable score.

Zimbabwe seemed a long way off when Dhawal Kulkarni dismissed Malcolm Waller, leaving the home team 104-5 in the 18th over.

New batsman Timycen Maruma slogged two sixes over midwicket in his 23 not out, with his second blow off the first delivery of the last over. Chigumbura then sent an outside edge down to the third-man boundary off the second-to-last ball to give Zimbabwe brief hope of stealing the game and the series. Chahal held on to the catch off the next ball as India squeezed home.

Kulkarni finished with 2-23 and Sran 2-31 for India.

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