Zimbabwe beat India

HARARE - Zimbabwe stunned India by 10 runs in the second and final Twenty20 match to level the series one-all here yesterday.

The visitors, who had also won the ODI series 3-0, went into yesterday’s match leading 1-0 after winning the first T20 by 54 runs on Friday.

Zimbabwe all-rounder Chamu Chibhabha, arguably the country’s top performer throughout the series, top scored for the hosts with a 51-ball 67 as the hosts set 145-7 after 20 overs.

The visitors were restricted to 135-9 in their allotted overs as both spinners and seamers complemented each other around an unyielding field set.

Leg-spinner Graeme Cremer piled pressure up front and was rewarded with three wickets for 18 runs from his four overs.

Sean Williams picked a wicket for 31 runs from four overs while Prosper Utseya conceded 18 runs from his three overs as the spinners took charge of the opening and middle periods.

Taurai Muzarabani and Chris Mpofu with a wicket apiece made sure death bowling was just as good as the spinners giving away just 14 runs in the last two overs when India needed 25 from 12.

Sikandar Raza Butt, Zimbabwe stand-in captain for the injured Elton Chigumbura said he was happy to have given the fans something to cheer about.

“It was my first game as captain for Zimbabwe, a great honour and the team out there made me feel welcome and the fans made their support felt.

“We knew we were 10-15 runs short. Basic errors cost us, but like we said our poor run had to come to the end and it came today (yesterday). I just said if we save one run every over, at the end we would have saved 20 runs.

“Try to contribute like that and at the end we would come out well. Everything has to come to an end, and now we hope we can win more games for Zimbabwe and give the fans something to cheer about,” said Raza.

India captain Ajinkya Rahane said: “Credit to Zimbabwe, fantastic with the ball and fielded well as well. 145 was achievable, our bowlers did very well, especially in the last five overs. We didn’t bat well, we accept that. We lost wickets continuously. That’s why pressure was built. We played pretty well, in the one-dayers and T20 but disappointed with losing the game today, but overall happy with the boys.”

Man-of-the-match, Chamu Chibhabha said: “I have put in a lot of work and it’s come off and I’m happy to contribute to a win. The wickets was a bit slow, bit of bounce and had to work hard for your runs. To be fair, I was happy with the catch more than I was with the bat. We needed to get Binny out, he’s been brilliant all series. So happy to take the blinder.”

Catches win matches and it was a tale of well-taken catches that swung the match in Zimbabwe’s favour after India had looked as they would recover more or less the same way they have been doing throughout the series.

Williams caught and bowled Robin Uthappa (42) in the eighth over while Chibhabha’s diving catch running from the long off boundary to dismiss Stuart Binny (24) off the bowling of Cremer in the 16th over pointed to what ended as a rare day in office for Zimbabwe.

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