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India have another easy outing in Zimbabwe

Last updated on: August 01, 2013 19:27 IST

India maintained their stranglehold over Zimbabwe, winning the fourth ODI in the five-match series by nine wickets, in Bulawayo, on Thursday.

Opting to field after winning the toss, India dismissed the hosts for a paltry 144, and then chased down the target with 115 balls to spare at the Queens Sports Club.


Leg-spinner Amit Mishra continued his good show on the tour, bagging three wickets for 25 runs, while debutant Mohit Sharma (2/26), who replaced Vinay Kumar, and Ravindra Jadeja (2/28) also had a good outing with the ball. 

Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat accounted for a wicket each.

Ravindra JadejaIn reply, India raced to the target despite the early dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara, who also made his debut in the match, replacing Shikhar Dhawan.

Rohit Sharma (64 not out) and Suresh Raina (65 not out) had little difficulty in hitting up the required runs and extending the series lead to 4-0.

Raina struck six fours in his 71-ball knock while Rohit found the fence five times and cleared it once during his 90-ball innings.

Chasing a small total, India suffered an early blow as they lost Pujara with the scoreboard reading 23 for one in the 10th over.

The 25-year-old Saurashtra player was bowled by Tendai Chatara. Trying to drive an incoming delivery, he missed and looked back to find his leg-stump uprooted.

Glimpses of the batsman's talent was evident earlier, though, as he creamed Michael Chinouya for two boundaries through the off-side.

Pujara's wicket was the lone success Zimbabwe tasted as Raina and Rohit shared a second-wicket partnership of 122 runs to take India home.

Earlier, the hosts floundered from the start. Had it not been for an 80-run sixth-wicket stand between Elton Chigumbura (50 not out) and Malcolm Waller (35), they may have not even got past the hundred-run mark.

Such was Zimbabwe's struggle that only four batsmen got into digit scores.

Mohit impressed in his maiden ODI, extracting pace and movement from the pitch. The 24-year-old from Haryana soon tasted success, picking his maiden international wicket in his fourth over when he induced an edge from Sikandar Raza, which wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik had no problems in accepting.

Pitched on a good length on off stump, the ball nipped away off the seam just enough to take Raza's outside edge through to Karthik.

Hamilton Masakadza (10) was the next to depart, caught short off the crease by a direct hit from Jadeja.

Captain Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams and Sibanda departed in consecutive overs to make matters worse as half the Zimbabwe side was out inside the 50-run mark.

While Jadeja accounted for the wickets of Taylor and Sibanda, Jaydev Unadkat dismissed Williams.

But Chigumbura and Waller came to the home team's rescue with an 80-run sixth wicket partnership before Zimbabwe witnessed another collapse.

Mohit broke the partnership when Wallace nicked one to Karthik.

Thereafter, Chigumbura was left stranded at the other end as wickets kept falling. For the record, the last five fell for just 17 runs.

Image: Dinesh Karthik (left) and Ravindra Jadeja