India crushes Zim again

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s woes with the bat continued after the locals slipped from a healthy 104-4 to 126-allout as India completed a 3-0 Killer Cup ODI series win following yesterday’s 10-wicket victory.

With India already enjoying a 2-0 series lead, the hosts were desperate to win yesterday’s match to save some face.

Captain Graeme Cremer should be regretting the decision to bat after winning the toss for the first time in the series, as his charges uncharacteristic batting display saw them scoring a paltry 26 from 48.2 overs.

“We didn’t see through the new ball to put up 260-270 which we thought was par. We got stuck in the  middle period, and then lost grip,” Cremer said after the match.

“We just couldn’t rotate strike, and that put pressure on our batsmen.

“We have a T20 squad, and we know we can challenge good teams on our day. We’ll have to pick ourselves up to try and compete in that series.”

India powered themselves to a 10-wicket win with both openers scoring half tons.

Debutant Faiz Fazal scored 55 runs from 61 deliveries while man-of-the-match and series KL Rahul top scored with 63 from 70.

India captain MS Dhoni, who has not been called into the thick of the action throughout the series, commended his players for putting a good show against the locals.

“I think the execution has been really good, and that’s the key factor. The fast bowlers and the spinners took wickets and put pressure, so I’m happy with the bowling performance.

“I don’t mind winning games easily, that’s what you are supposed to do,” Dhoni said.

“Yes, it would have been nice if a few of the other batsmen would have had a break. I think after a long time, I will take some time off cricket after this series (T20s). Don’t think my daughter still recognises me.”

Vusi Sibanda top scored for the locals with 38 runs while Chamu Chibhabha and Timycen Maruma chipped in with 27 and 17 runs respectively.

After 32.5 overs Zimbabwe looked set for a respectable total on 104/4 but the Indian bowlers seized the momentum from the hosts grabbing the remaining six wickets for only 22 runs.

Indian bowlers Barinder Sran and DS Kulkarni picked three wickets apiece as Zimbabwe’s batsmen struggled to manoeuvre on the crease.

Meanwhile, former skipper Elton Chigumbura dismissed social media reports linking him with resignation saying he still has a couple of years left in his career.

Zimbabwe will now be focusing their attention on the T20 series against the touring Asians which starts on Saturday.

Another poor performance with the bat can see the locals humiliated again by India during the three-match series.

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