India complete Zimbabwe whitewash with another leisurely win

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India complete Zimbabwe whitewash with another leisurely win

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Amlan Majumdar

06/15/2016

India cruised to a 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the third ODI at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday to win the ODI series 3-0. Jasprit Bumrah picked up four wickets to help India restrict Zimbabwe to a paltry total of 123, before KL Rahul and Faiz Fazal chased it down in 21.5 overs.

Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 123 all out in 42.2/50 overs (Vusi Sibanda 38(71); Jasprit Bumrah 4/22) lost to India 126/0 in 21.5/50 overs (KL Rahul 63*(70), Faiz Faizal 55*(61)) by 10 wickets.

MS Dhoni presented the India cap to Faiz Fazal at the start of the match, and the southpaw became the third cricketer from Vidarbha to play for his nation. The 30-year-old replaced Karun Nair in the team, and was the only change in the lineup for the visitors, who have had it easy so far in the series.

Zimbabwe, on the other hand, have come under a lot of criticism for their listless performances so far in the ODI series, and although the third ODI had turned into a dead rubber, the home team had a lot to prove to their fans. They made five changes to their lineup as Malcolm Waller, Timycen Maruma, Tawanda Mupariwa, Nevill Madziva, and Donald Tiripano got an opportunity to prove their worth.

Another slow start

After losing three wickets in the first 10 overs of the last match, Zimbabwe were determined to keep their wickets in hand in this one—even if that meant inducing sleep to the viewers of the match. After Hamilton Masakadza was dismissed for 8 in the 6th over by Dhawal Kulkarni, Chamu Chibhabha, and Vusi Sibanda dropped their anchors on the pitch and drudged out a 36-run partnership in 88 balls.

It was a snorefest, with Sibanda's six off Barinder Sran being the only highlight of the innings. Fun fact: That was Zimbabwe's only six in the whole innings, and their second in the whole series—both hit by Sibanda. They held onto their wickets and reached 102/3 in the 32nd over to keep their hopes alive of reaching a respectable total.

Another middle order collapse

In the second ODI, Zimbabwe were placed at 106/3 at the halfway point of their innings, and then they collapsed to a total of 126. In this match, they were 102/3 in the 32nd over, and by the 43rd over, they were bowled out by India for 123. Meanwhile, the ground authorities have made sure that all the tomato trees around the stadium have been removed.

To put Zimbabwe's batting performance in this series into context: They made 417 runs for 30 wickets in 126.4 overs in the 3-match series, while England had scored 416 runs for 10 wickets in 128.4 overs in their first innings of the recently ended third Test match against Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah, like he did in the first ODI, produced another four-for—his second of the series—as he ran through the Zimbabwean middle order once again.

(Also read, Do these India tours to Zimbabwe actually serve any purpose?)

Faizal shines on debut

After toiling hard on India's domestic circuit for years, Faiz Fazal finally had the opportunity to play for his country. His first runs in international cricket arrived from a thick outside edge down to third man, but as he spent time at the crease, his class shone through. The left-handed batsman played some beautiful drives through the covers, and he announced his arrival on the big stage with a well deserved half century. He became the third Indian opener to score a half century on his debut, with the second - KL Rahul - partnering him at the other end.

KL Rahul also maintained his dominance with the bat with his second 50+ score of the series as India eased their way to their target with 10 wickets in hand and 28.1 overs to spare. 

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