Set a target of 179, Zimbabwe could muster only 124/7, undone by the slow bowling pair of Axar Patel (3/17) and Harbhajan Singh (2/29), who derailed them after a promising start. Axar Patel took three wickets, while Harbhajan Singh took two wickets.
Earlier, important contributions from Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane and Robin Uthappa had helped India post a challenging 178/5 in 20 overs.
India’s captain Ajinkya Rahane (C) bats as Zimbabwe’s wicket keeper Charles Coventry (R) looks on during the first of two Twenty20 global cricket matches between Zimbabwe and India at the Harare Sports Club on July 17, 2015 in Harare. Rahane, who had meandered along to 33 off 32 was deceived by a flighted delivery from Cremer and the leading edge carried to Masakadza at point.
Opener Hamilton Masakadza top-scored with 28 from 24 balls, before he became the first wicket for Patel.
“It was important for me to hold one end up for the side because we needed one batsman to bat through”.
Zimbabwe made a promising start to their chase as Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha put on 55 for the first wicket, with seamer Sandeep Sharma enduring a tough start with the ball on his worldwide debut.
India Clinched a 3-0 ODI series in the 50-over campaign winning the first ODI by four runs, the second by 62 runs and the third by 83 runs. The duo were scoring runs easily and at a brisk pace before a run out snapped their partnership.
Murali Vijay was the more aggressive of the two, hitting five boundaries and a six.
Rahane did not take any risk, scoring in singles and twos and rotating strikes before he was out in the 10th over off a fine delivery from leg-spinner Graeme Cremer.
On Tuesday, a judicial panel in India delivered a blow to the country’s cricket jewel, the Indian Premier League, banning two franchises – the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals – in connection with a gambling scandal. The Indians could score just 31 runs in five overs from the 10th to 14th over. Chris Mpofu was the peak of Zimbabwean bowlers as he dismissed three Indian batsmen by giving away 3 3runs in the stipulated four overs.
The wicketkeeper-batsman opted against his usual big-hitting approach, and instead anchored the innings with an unbeaten 39 from 35 balls.