Sanju Samson’s unbeaten 43-run knock with Shardul Thakur’s 3-38 took India to a 5-wicket win in the 2nd ODI of the 3-match series at Harare Sports Club on Saturday. With the second win, India seals the series 2-0.
After elected to bowl, men in Blue dismissed the hosts for 161 runs and easily chased the target sparing 24.2 overs. It was another comfortable win for India following Thursday’s 10-wicket victory.
After losing the crucial toss, Zimbabwe started their batting but there was no improvement for them with the bat from the first game. With plenty of avoidable shots, they ended in 161 in 38.1 overs, less score than the first match. The openers again failed to score much in the game. The all-rounder Sean Williams was the top scorer for Zimbabwe with 42 runs. Ryan Burl followed him with 39 runs.
Indian bowlers continued exhibiting their bowling skills in the second match. All of them took wickets, but it was Shardul Thakur’s 3-wickets that destroyed Zimbabwe’s batting line-up. He dismissed the opener Innocent Kaia (16), captain Regis Chakabva (2), and Luke Jongwe (6) with his excellent swing bowling. Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, and Deepak Hooda claimed a wicket each. Even though Deepak Chahar missed out on the match, the replacement of Thakur was worth giving.
In return, Shikhar Dhawan and K. L. Rahul opened the batting for India. Dhawan scored 33 runs but Rahul failed to score runs as he went out early with a single run. Dhawan, Gill partnership was again shown in the match with Gill hitting an identical score of 33. Then Deepak Hooda added 25 runs to the scoreboard.
Sanju Samson was in a good mood to finish off the game and he did it with a huge six. With a total of 4 sixes and 3 boundaries, Sanju Samson was unbeaten on 43 off 39 balls. Along with the runs, Sanju added 3 catches behind the stumps and became the Player-of-the-match. “How much ever time you spend in the middle feels good. I took three catches but I missed a stumping too; as keepers we’re used to listening to things we didn’t do well. I really enjoyed keeping and contributing to the win. In this match the fast bowlers picked the length much quicker and I really enjoyed keeping”, Sanju Samson reacted after the match.
Unlike the batters, Zimbabwe bowlers improved much in the game, showing good pace and bowling with a lot of heart. But the consistency factor was missing again. Luke Jongwe scored 2 wickets for Zimbabwe while Victor Nyauchi, Sikandar Raza, and Tanaka Chivanga added a wicket each.
Regis Chakabwa, the Zimbabwe captain said, “We had a really good fight in the field. We’ve struggled to pick early wickets in the last few games and we did that today. We fell shot of runs on the board. Our execution lacked a little bit in the end, and we’re looking to score more runs. The bowlers came out charging and they tried to hit their lengths”.
With the change in the batting order, Indian middle orders like Sanju & Hooda got a chance to show off their skills, but it didn’t go well for captain Rahul as he departed cheaply. “I wanted to get some runs but it didn’t happen. Hopefully in the next game”, Rahul said after the match.
For India, the focus was more on scoring runs at a quick rate rather than preserving wickets. Unlike the first match, India lost 5 wickets in the second match. Dhawan, Gill, Hooda, and Samson finished things off for India. With the easy win, India had now 14 ODI wins in a row against Zimbabwe. The remaining match will be played in Harare on Monday at 12.45 pm.
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