This match was the 2087th Limited Overs International in cricket history.
Sanjay Bangar and Parthiv Patel provided the 18th instance in LOI history of both the openers getting dismissed without scoring in the same innings. The pair also provided the sixth such instance for India and their second against Zimbabwe. Sunil Gavaskar and Krish Srikkanth had also made ducks at Tunbridge Wells on 18-06-1983 in the World Cup Game. Interestingly India have won on as many as four occasions despite the total failure of the openers.
India were three down with only four runs on the board. This was their worst ever start in all LOIs. Interestingly India's previous lowest total at the fall of third wicket was six also against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells on 18-06-2003.
VVS Laxman (131* off 138 balls) scored his fifth hundred in 64th match. This was also the highest score of his LOI career bettering the previous best of 106* (off 130 balls) against Australia at Sydney two days back.
Laxman became only the fourth Indian batsman to have scored back to back hundreds in LOIs after Sachin Tendulkar (v Australia in 1997-98), Rahul Dravid (v Kenya & Sri Lanka in 1999) and Sourav Ganguly (v South Africa & New Zealand in 2000-01).
The hundred was Laxman's third in the VB Series. Apart from the two hundreds mentioned above, Laxman's other hundred was against Australia at Brisbane on 18-01-2004 when he scored 103* off 113 balls. He thus became only the second Indian batsman to score three hundreds in a series or competition after Sourav Ganguly who had scored three hundreds in the 2002-03 World Cup.
Laxman also became the ninth batsman (on tenth occasion) in LOI history to have scored three hundreds in a series or competition. Australia's Mark Waugh is the only one to have done so on two occasions.
Laxman now holds the record of scoring most hundreds for India in Australia. He moved ahead of teammate Sourav Ganguly who has two hundreds to his credit.
Rohan Gavaskar (54 off 62 balls) scored his maiden fifty in his fourth match. By an odd coincidence, his father Sunil had also scored his maiden fifty in his fourth match (65* v East Africa at Leeds on 11-06-1975).
The 118-run partnership between Laxman and Gavaskar is India's best for the fifth wicket against Zimbabwe in an away match and the second best in all matches after 158 between Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Mongia at Guwahati on 19-03-2002.
India have now achieved 250-plus scores in four consecutive matches. They made 303-4 against Australia at Brisbane on January 18, 255-6 against Zimbabwe at Brisbane on January 20, 296-4 against Australia at Sydney on January 22 and 280-7 against Zimbabwe in this match. India have recorded four consecutive 250-plus totals on only three other occasions. The record is of five such scores which were achieved from 11-07-2002 to 25-09-2002. India had a run of four consecutive 250s from 31-01-2002 to 10-05-2002 and from 19-02-2003 to 01-03-2003.
Stuart Carlisle (109 off 128 balls) scored his third hundred in his 102nd match - his first against India in seven matches. His innings is the second highest by a Zimbabwean batsman against India after Andy Flower's 145 (off 164 balls) at Colombo RPS on 14-09-2002.
Sean Ervine (100 off 100 balls) scored his maiden hundred in his 36th match. His previous highest was 61* (off 41 balls) against Pakistan at Bulawayo on 24-11-2002.
Carlisle and Ervine provided the first instance of two Zimbabwean batsmen scoring hundreds in same innings. This was the 54th such instance in LOI history and eleventh against India. However Carlisle and Ervine's efforts could not bring victory for Zimbabwe. Out of the 54 instances where two batsmen scored hundreds in same innings, 11 times the sides - for which this record was made have faced defeat. Interestingly six such instances have come against India.
The 202-run partnership between Carlisle and Ervine for the fourth wicket is Zimbabwe's best for any wicket in LOIs bettering the 187 between Carlisle and Grant Flower also for the fourth wicket against Australia at Perth on 04-02-2001. Incidentally Zimbabwe's previous highest partnership against India was 158-run between Flower brothers at Jodhpur on 08-12-2000.
The above partnership is the highest by any side against India for the fourth wicket, obliterating the 163 (unbroken) partnership between Pakistan's Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq at Mohali on 01-04-1999.
India's victory by three runs is their fourth narrowest in terms of run-margin. India had beaten New Zealand and Sri Lanka by one run at Wellington and Colombo RPS on 06-03-1990 and 25-07-1993 respectively. India also defeated South Africa by two runs at Calcutta on 24-11-1993.
India achieved victory on the last ball of the match. It is their fourth win off the last ball of a match. The earlier three instances were v Pakistan at Quetta on 01-10-1978, v Sri Lanka at Colombo RPS on 25-07-1993 and v West Indies at Visakhapatnam on 07-11-1994.
The defeat was third narrowest for Zimbabwe in terms of runs. Zimbabwe had lost to Australia by one run at Perth on 04-02-2001. Zimbabwe also lost to New Zealand by two runs at Auckland on 08-03-1998 and by three runs at Hyderabad (India) on 10-10-1987.
The defeat was Zimbabwe's seventh in a row.
VVS Laxman won his third man of the match award.