HARARE: Shubman Gill struck a maiden One-day International century to steer India to a nervy 13-run victory over hosts Zimbabwe on Monday and complete a clean sweep of their three-match series at the Harare Sports Club.
Gill hammered 130 runs off 97 balls as India recovered from a slow start to score an imposing 289 for eight after winning the toss and electing to bat first, before bowling Zimbabwe out for 276 in the last over of the home side’s innings.
Gill not only wreaked havoc with the bat, he also caught Zimbabwe centurion Sikandar Raza, who was threatening to give the home side a shock victory.
Zimbabwe were in the hunt all the way thanks to Raza’s sixth ODI century as he scored 115 from 95 balls, but when he fell in the penultimate over, their chances of a first victory over India since 2010 faded.
It was the closest outcome of the series after India won by 10 wickets in the opening clash on Thursday, followed by a five-wicket triumph with 146 balls remaining in Saturday’s second game.
Gill showed expert timing as he drove the home attack to all corners and quickly lifted the run rate after India were 84-2 in the 21st over.
He put on a 140-run partnership for the second wicket with Ishan Kishan, who scored 50, but after that watched a succession of partners depart cheaply as Brad Evans completed his first five-wicket haul in international cricket with figures of 5-54 in his 10 overs.
Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams showed aggressive intent in the homes team reply, scoring 45 runs off 46 balls, but at 169-7 they looked out of the contest.
That was until Raza and Evans (28) put on 104 for the eighth wicket to drag them back into it, but when they were out within five balls of each other with the victory line in sight, the tail could not deliver and a gallant run chase by Zimbabwe came up short.
Seamer Avesh Khan, playing his second ODI, took the last wicket and was the pick of the visitors attack with 3-66, but while Shardul Thakur (1-55) was expensive, he claimed the prized wicket of Raza.
INDIA: S. Dhawan c Williams b Evans 40 L. Rahul b Evans 30 S. Gill c Kaia b Evans 130 I. Kishan run out Munyonga 50 D. Hooda b Evans 1 S. Samson c Kaitano b Jongwe 15 A. Patel c Raza b Nyauchi 1 S. Thakur c Nyauchi b Evans 9 D. Chahar not out 1 K. Yadav not out 2 EXTRAS (B-1, NB-1, W-8) 10 TOTAL (for eight wickets, 50 overs) 289 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-63 (Rahul), 2-84 (Dhawan), 3-224 (Kishan), 4-227 (Hooda), 5-256 (Samson), 6-272 (Axar), 7-282 (Gill), 8-286 (Thakur) DID NOT BAT: Avesh Khan BOWLING: Ngarava 9-0-58-0 (3w), Nyauchi 10-1-48-1 (3w, 1nb), Evans 10-0-54-5, Raza 10-1-39-0, Jongwe 5-0-49-1 (2w), Williams 5-0-30-0, Munyonga 1-0-10-0 ZIMBABWE: T. Kaitano st Kishan b Yadav 13 I. Kaia lbw Chahar 6 S. Williams lbw Axar 45 T. Munyonga c Rahul b Avesh 15 S. Raza c Gill b Thakur 115 R. Chakabva c&b Axar 16 R. Burl c Dhawan b Chahar 8 L. Jongwe c Gill b Yadav 14 B. Evans lbw Avesh 28 R. Ngarava not out 2 V. Nyauchi b Avesh 0 EXTRAS (LB-3, NB-4, W-7) 14 TOTAL (all out, 49.3 overs) 276 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-7 (Kaia), 2-82 (Williams), 3-84 (Munyonga), 4-120 (Chakabva), 5-122 (Kaitano), 6-145 (Burl), 7-169 (Jongwe), 8-273 (Evans), 9-275 (Raza) BOWLING: Chahar 10-0-75-2 (1w), Avesh 9.3-1-66-3 (1w, 2nb), Thakur 9-0-55-1 (2w, 2nb), Yadav 10-0-38-2 (2w), Hooda 1-0-9-0, Axar 10-1 30-2 (1w) RESULT: India won by 13 runs. SERIES: India won the three match series 3-0.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2022