T20: India cruise home as Zimbabwe falter again

Zimbabwe’s hopes of claiming the Twenty20 series with India were hampered in Harare as their batting woes returned to enable the tourists to cruise to a 10-wicket win.

Poor performances with the bat blighted Zimbabwe’s one-day performances earlier this month, but they appeared to have turned the corner with victory in the opening T20 on Saturday.

The hosts hit 170 in that game before limiting India to 168, but Monday saw another disappointing display – Zimbabwe only managing 99-9 from their 20 overs.

Only Peter Moor scored more than 14 as his 31 came at just under a run a ball, the wicketkeeper finding the boundary on two occasions and clearing the rope once.

It was only brief resistance, though, as T20 debutant Barinder Sran (4-10) and Jasprit Bumrah (3-11) led the Indian attack superbly, the pair sharing seven wickets between them.

Sran was the star of the show on his first appearance, the seamer mixing his delivery speeds up superbly to bemuse Chamu Chibhabha in the third over, before taking three in five balls two overs later.

In response, India’s batsmen made light work of their run chase, openers KL Rahul (47 not out) and Mandeep Singh (52 no) guiding them home with 41 balls to spare.

Both players kept pace with each other throughout their canter to victory, but it was Mandeep who fired the winning runs with his seventh boundary of the innings – taking him to his first international T20 half-century.

India’s win – their first by 10 wickets in T20s – turns Thursday’s final match of their tour into a decider, with Zimbabwe desperate to perform better in all areas to salvage something.

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