Harare: India won the 3rd and final T20 match of the 3-match T20 series against Zimbabwe in a nail-biting finish by 3 runs.
A combined effort from India’s bowlers restricted the Zimabwean chase to 135-6 after their 20 overs.
With 21 needed off 6 balls and Barinder Sran the bowler, Timycen Maruma hit a six off the first ball. The next ball was a no-ball and Sran looked like he was under pressure.
But he came back well and bowled a couple of yorkers. Chugumbura needed a four off the last ball, but found Yuzvendra Chahal at covers. India won the series 2-1 with the win and finished the series on a high.
Zimbabwe were off to a decent start in their chase. Chamu Chibhabha though, was the first wicket to fall for the hosts. He pulled one straight into Yuzvendra Chahal’s hands as Barinder Sran picked up the wicket.
Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza then steered the innings forward. Sibanda was looking in fine touch. But Maskadza was the next to go. He was trapped in front off the bowling of Akshar Patel. Sibanda followed soon.
Chahal then picked up the wicket of Peter Moor who was looking dangerous. Moor was out for 26 off 21 balls. Zimbabwe were then under pressure as the run-rate was climbing up.
India could not manage to get a desired start as they were reduced to 27 for 3 within five overs of their innings. Winning the toss, Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer elected to bowl first letting India bat first for the first time in the series.
Usual openers KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh opened India’s innings. Mandeep, who had scored his maiden T20I half-century in the last match, did not last long, getting out for 4.
Donald Tiripano got Zimbabwe their first success as Timycen Maruma took a good catch walking back at cover.
KL Rahul and Manish Pandey left soon after leaving India struggling.
Kedar Jadhav played a very responsible knock. He built up short but crucial partnerships first with Ambati Rayudu and then Patel down the order before getting out for 58. Jadhav faced 42 deliveries, hit 7 fours and a six in his knock.
A major disappointment was MS Dhoni’s innings, who came out to bat when India needed a move on, but couldn’t add much to the cause as he played one back to his stumps.
India had ended with 138-6 in 20 overs after an impressive effort in the bowling and fielding departments by Zimbabwe.
India - 138 for 6 (Jadhav 58, Tiripano 3*20)
Zimbabwe - 135 for 6 (Sibanda 28, Kulkarni 2-23, Sran 2-31)
Result - India won by 3 runs
Player of the match - Kedhar Jadhav (India)
Player of the series - Barinder Sran (India)