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PIX: Abhishek slams 46-ball ton as India maul Zimbabwe

Source: PTI
Last updated on: July 07, 2024 20:24 IST
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Images from the second T20 International between Zimbabwe and India at Harare on Sunday.

IMAGE: Abhishek Sharma celebrates after completing his century during the second T20 International against Zimbabwe in Harare on Sunday. Photograph: BCCI

Young Abhishek Sharma announced his arrival on the big stage with a breathtaking 46-ball century as India pummelled Zimbabwe by a whopping 100 runs in the second T20 International to restore parity in a resounding fashion in Harare on Sunday.


This is India's biggest margin of victory in terms of runs against Zimbabwe in T20Is.

The young Indian side didn't carry the baggage of a shock-13-run defeat in the series-opener as left-handed opener Abhishek blended power with grace for a scintillating 100-run knock that propelled India to a massive 234/2 a track where batting wasn't exactly easy.

The ask was already stiff and Indian bowlers got breakthroughs at regular intervals to bowl out Zimbabwe for 134 in 18.4 overs to set the record straight.

Pacers Mukesh Kumar (3/37) and Avesh Khan (3/15) removed the top-order inside the Powerplay to kill the contest which became a formality after that.

IMAGE: India's players celebrate a wicket. Photograph: BCCI/X

The day certainly belonged to Abhishek, who mixed grace and power in equal measure in an innings, embellished with eight sixes and seven fours.

It made a normally stylish Ruturaj Gaikwad (77 not out off 47 balls) look pale in comparison during their 137-run stand for the second wicket.

His innings would also increase the headache for skipper Shubman Gill and stand-in coach VVS Laxman, who would need to take a tough call when Yashasvi Jaiswal is available from the third game.

After his century, there is no way that the Sunrisers Hyderabad opener can be dropped from the playing XI.

Earlier, having endured the disappointment of a four-ball duck on debut, Abhishek, IPL's most prolific six-hitting Indian batter, displayed his talent by clobbering eight sixes and seven fours in entertaining knock of 100 from 47 balls.

IMAGE: Abhishek Sharma slammed the joint third fastest century for India in T20 Internationals. Photograph: BCCI

He added 137 runs for the second wicket with Ruturaj Gaikwad (77 not out off 47 balls), who was completely overshadowed by the Punjab southpaw.

Abhishek got a reprieve on 27 when Wellington Masakadza dropped a regulation skier off Luke Jongwe and the Sunrisers Hyderabad opened made the Zimbabweans pay for that lapse.

Abhishek started his international run account with a pull for a six off spinner Brian Bennett, who had got the better of him on Saturday.

His fifty came off another pulled six behind square off medium pacer Dion Myers, whose 28-run over actually opened the floodgates during the back-10 for the visitors.

IMAGE: Abhishek Sharma and Ruturaj Gaikwad during their second wicket partnership of 137 runs. Photograph: BCCI

The shot that was most pleasing to the eye was his inside out six off rival skipper Sikandar Raza, lofting his off-break with the turn over extra cover boundary.    

If that was elegance personified, the manner in which he muscled left-arm spinner Masakadza into the orbit with back-to-back sixes was a testimony to his brute power.

He raised his milestone hundred when he guided a wayward full-toss on leg-stump behind the square for a maximum before being dismissed off the very next delivery.

IMAGE: Ruturaj Gaikwad completed his fifty from 38 balls in the 17th over. Photograph: BCCI

On return to the dug-out, he was congratulated by his skipper and best friend Shubman Gill, who once again had an indifferent outing.

The best part about his innings was how he switched gears as India were 74/1 after first 10 overs. In the next five, they smashed 78, courtesy Yuvraj Singh's student, who threw the kitchen sink at the Zimbabwean bowlers.

IMAGE: A dejected Shubman Gill walks back after his dismissal to Blessing Muzarabani. Photograph: BCCI

The poor fielding effort also hurt Zimbabwe as they also dropped Gaikwad's catch, who took off from where Abhishek had left, adding 87 runs off 36 balls for the third wicket with Rinku Singh (48 not out off 22 balls), who also made merry with five huge sixes.

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