Harare (Zimbabwe): Team India on Saturday registered its first win of the tour by beating host Zimbabwe by six wickets in the T20I Series at the Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe came out all bats blazing, losing too many wickets early, and let spinners dominate proceedings after that.
Zimbabwe were 41 for 2 after four overs when spin was introduced, but Pragyan Ojha, R Ashwin and Piyush Chawla did to Zimbabwe what their spinners were used to doing to others.
That the slow bowlers went for 57 in 14 overs among them, and that there was a spell of 59 deliveries without a boundary, underlined Zimbabwe”s trouble.
Ojha also registered the most economical Twenty20 figures for India.
Chamu Chibhabha, surprised India with four fours and a six off the first 18 balls he played, but Chawla”s googly dismissed him in the 11th over.
Zimbabwe made a hectic start with Chibhabha and Brendan Taylor getting stuck into the medium-pacers despite the loss of Hamilton Masakadza in the first over.
Chasing a modest 112 to win, India overhauled the target with five overs to spare with Yusuf Pathan (36) and Virat Kohli (27) finishing off the game for the visitors.
Earlier, Indian bowlers showed discipline and restricted Zimbabwe to a meagre 111 for nine at Harare Sports Club.
Paceman R Vinay Kumar (3/24) was the most successful bowler with three wickets while Ashok Dinda (2/27) and Pragyan Ojha (2/11) accounted for two victims apiece.
During India”s chase, big-hitting Pathan and youngster Kohli shared an unbeaten 64-run stand for the fifth wicket to rescue India from a precarious 48 for 4.
Pathan”s 23-ball knock contained two fours and three sixes while Kohli faced 22 balls with three fours and a six.
Yusuf Pathan was adjudged Man of the Match for his knock of 37 off 24 balls.
“It was a good win. I was clear about going for my shots. Not a good wicket to bat, very slow. I just decided to play my shots, it came off,” said Yusuf Pathan at the presentation ceremony.