Lokesh Rahul’s ton and Bumrah helped India to register a nine-wicket victory over Zimbabwe at Harare on Saturday. Rahul’s historic ton helped India to win easily with nine wickets remaining and scored an unbeaten knock of 100 runs and Bumrah sent four batsman of opposition to the pavilion that culminated as India took a lead of 1-0 in the three-match series. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s luck again worked. He won the toss and invited Zimbabwe to bat first. Three young Indian players received their first cap- Lokesh Rahul, Karun Nair and Yujvendra Chahal.
Rahul’s historic ton helped India to win easily with nine wickets remaining
Chibhabha and Moor opened the innings for Zimbabwe and Dhaval Kulkarni with the new ball for India.
India gets a breakthrough in the very second over as Barinder Sran took the wicket of Peter Moor who went after scoring three runs. The wicket was supporting Indian seamers and Kulkarni bagged the wicket of Masakadza in the fourth over. Kulkarni got the edge that went straight to the wicketkeeper Dhoni.
It was a perfect start for Dhoni as after the end of powerplay Zimbabwe was 32 runs losing two wickets. Bumrah got the speed in his second over and bowled Chamu Chibhabha for 13 runs. The host team get blow by blow in a series and completed fifty in 16th over.
It was a day of Bumrah. Dhoni again brought him into the attack and Sibanda was caught behind in his bowl.
The wicket was not supporting spinner Axar Patel but his variations finally gifted him with a wicket. He took the wicket of Craig Ervine was caught in the deep by Fazal.
Indian bowlers bowl in a right line and did not let Zimbabwe overcome with the blows. They were struggled to find boundaries but even unable to find the singles. Resultantly, run rate was going down and their projected score was around under 200.
Win easily with nine wickets
Kulkarni was again called for his second spell. He was quite impressive in his first spell.
Zimbabwe reached the hundred in the 32nd over. Chigumbura and Raza were creating hurdles for Indian bowlers who were thinking to bowl out the line as soon as possible. They played most of the last 90 deliveries.
Dhoni showed trust on pacer Sran and he did not disappoint the captain and bowled the Raza. From here, the team who could come out well as it loses wickets at regular intervals and the team bowled out after scoring 168 runs on the board.
For the hosts, Eltan Chigumbura was the leading run scorer who scored 41 runs before Sran bowled him out, Sikandar Raza contributed 23 runs.
For India, the medium pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah (4-28), Barinder Sran (2-42) and Dhawal Kulkarni (2-42).
It looking a very small total in front of Dhoni and his brigade. India came to Zimbabwe without many established batsman such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Shikhar Dhawan. The team was inexperienced but the players have performed well in the domestic cricket as well as in IPL. The two debutant Lokesh Rahul and Karun Nair came to bat to chase the total.
India lost his first wicket as Nair who cuts and cuts it straight to Raza on the ball of Chatara. Ambaiti Raidu came as a first down. And from here India did not lose any wicket and won this first one-day international easily with nine wickets remaining.
Lokesh Rahul was awarded man of the match for his outstanding and historic century. He said could not get his eyes off the ball and was not complacent. On becoming the first Indian to score a ton in one day international on debut, he said that he did not know and his manager told him that it is a milestone for him.