After a six-month injury lay-off, pacer Deepak Chahar emerges Man of the Match with 3-27, bundling out Zimbabwe for 189; openers Gill and Dhawan slam unbeaten half-centuries as India win 1st ODI by 10 wickets
Deepak Chahar appeals for a Zimbabwe wicket; Openers Shubman Gill (left) and Shikhar Dhawan after India’s 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the first ODI at Harare yesterday.Pics/AFP
Pacer Deepak Chahar made an impressive comeback to international cricket with an incisive spell and openers maintained their consistency as India outclassed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the opening One Day International here on Thursday. Donning the blue jersey for the first time in six months after a long injury lay-off, Chahar hit the straps right away with figures of 3-27, which was instrumental in India restricting Zimbabwe to a sub-par 189 in just 40.3 overs.
“When you are playing an international game after six-and-a-half months, you are always nervous. Before coming here, I played four to five practice games. The mind and the body were not working together in the first few overs, but it got better after that,” said Chahar about the start of his spell where he looked unsure about his run-up.
“That ball I wanted to bowl a bouncer and the spikes didn’t go through and I slipped. The landing area was little hard and my nails were not going in and was slippery,” added the Player of the Match. It didn’t take long for Chahar to find his rhythm on a Harare Sports Club track that offered steep bounce. The balmy morning conditions aided quality swing bowling. He was well supported by Mohammed Siraj (1-36), who worked up brisk pace while bowling the ideal ‘Test match length’.
Prasidh, Axar get three each
Prasidh Krishna (3-50) and Axar Patel (3-24) also got their share of middle and lower-order victims while Kuldeep Yadav (0-36) was restrictive despite going wicket-less.
It was the record ninth-wicket stand of 70 runs between Brad Evans (33) and Richard Ngarava (32) that took Zimbabwe close to the 200-run mark. None of the Zimbabwe batters looked comfortable during those opening overs as Chahar got a lot of deliveries to dart back late while some straightened after pitching.
With very little scoreboard pressure, it was a walk in the park for the Indians as the in-form opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan (81 not out) and Shubman Gill (82 not out) knocked off the target in just 30.5 overs.
With skipper KL Rahul foregoing his spot at the top of the order to let the in-form pair maintain its momentum, Dhawan and Gill scored their third half-centuries in last four games. Not to forget that it was also their third century-plus stand from the start of the West Indies series.
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‘Enjoyed batting with Gill’
Dhawan is enjoying a purple patch in ODI cricket and his partnership with Gill is much talked about. “I am enjoying batting with the youngster [Gill] and I feel like a youngster too. I enjoyed the consistency from the West Indies. I knew that once I was set, I would go after the bowlers,” Dhawan said. On a track that had something for the bowlers, the Indian openers did start in a sedate fashion.
Zimbabwe 189 in 40.3 overs (R Chakabva 35; D Chahar 3-27, P Krishna 3-50, Axar Patel 3-24) lost to India 192-0 in 30.5 overs (S Gill 82*, S Dhawan 81*) by 10 wickets
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