Royal Stag T-20 series, India vs. Zimbabwe (first match), 17th July, 2015:
India once again showed its supremacy in the T-20 international match despite 5 of its players making an international debut in this match. India comfortably beat the helpless Zimbabwe by 54 runs in the first match of the Royal Stag T-20 series. It has gone 1-0 up in the two match series. After batting first, India got off to good start with both Ajinkya Rahane (33) and Murali Vijay (34) playing cautious yet speedy innings. Then Robin Uthappa came to the crease and played a responsible inning and batted till the end with his personal score of 39. The little cameos by Manish Pandey, Stuart Binny and Harbhajan Singh led India to a competitive score of 178/5 in 20 overs on a slow track. But what really helped the Indian cause was the undisciplined Zimbabwean bowling which conceded 25 extra runs which really helped the Indian cause. Chasing the stiff target, Zimbabwe struggled for runs as Indians bowled a tight line and length. Pacer bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled an impressive first spell just conceding 4 runs of his 2 overs but the real breakthrough was provided by the spinners. Harbhajan provided the first breakthrough by getting the wicket of dangerous looking Chamu Chibhabha (23) and breaking the 55 run stand in 9th over between him and Hamilton Masakadza (28). Then Axar Patel broke the back of Zimbabwean batting line up by getting 3 crucial wickets of Hamilton Masakadza, captain Elton Chigumbura and Sikander Raza and finished with the figures of 4-0-17-3 for which he was given the Man of the Match award. The spin duo took 5 wickets to them and reduced the Zimbabwean side to 124/7 in 20 overs, thus giving India a comfortable win in the first T-20 match at the Harare sports club. So now Zimbabwean has just one match left to level the series and preserve its pride because in this tour nothing has clicked for them, especially batting. Whereas India would be looking to win the series by winning the second match to be held on 19th July. We have to wait and see whether Zimbabwe would get back into form in the second T-20 or India would stage another clean sweep on Zimbabwe.