Harare: India's KL Rahul became the first Indian to score a century on ODI debut. His swashbuckling innings was studded with seven elegant fours and one mammoth six over deep mid-wicket.
It was India‘s young and fiery bowling attack that put the visitors in the commanding position. The pace duo of Dhawal Kulkarni and Barinder Sran made early inroads by scalping two wickets and conceding only 32 runs in the mandatory powerplay.
Identifying the nature of the track, MS Dhoni’s decision to bowl first turned fortunes towards India, as they bundled out the hosts on 168.
In reply, Rahul along with Ambati Rayudu chased down the modest total in 42.3 overs.
There was a tinge of grass on the Harare track. Knowing this, Indian seamers persistently bowled disciplined line and length.
Struggling Zimbabwe batsmen struggled to find their feet and lost wickets at regular intervals. However, it was Elton Chigumbura’s fighting 65-ball 41 that helped the hosts score past 150.
Bumrah, who played his second ODI match, was the star performer in the first innings. He took a match-winning four-for, conceding only 28 runs off 9.5 overs. Zimbabwe batsmen never seemed to have read his sling-shot action.
In the pursuit of 169 runs, India started steady with Rahul and Rayudu hold fort on a bowler-friendly track.
Zimbabwe bowlers kept things simple and kept the might of Indian batsmen at bay in the initial overs. However, the duo scaled up the run-rate as they got accustomed to the conditions.
Rahul became the first Indian to score a century on ODI debut. His swashbuckling innings was studded with seven elegant fours and one mammoth six over deep mid-wicket. The class-apart batsman stitched up a match-winning partnership of 162 runs with Rayudu for the third wicket.
Zimbabwe - 168 (Chigumbura 41, Bumrah 4 for 28)
India - 173 for 1 (Rahul 100*, Rayudu 62*)
Result - India won by 9 wickets