Second T20: Young Team India crush Zimbabwe after humiliating debacle

Harare, July 7 (FN Agency) In a display of sheer dominance, the young Indian cricket team crushed Zimbabwe here on Sunday, securing a resounding 100 runs victory. Riding high on Abhishek Sharma’s blistering century, Ruturaj Gaikwad’s fiery fifty, and a power-packed cameo from Rinku Singh, India posted a colossal total of 234. Zimbabwe, already on the back foot at the halfway stage, faced an uphill battle. Brian Bennett’s early promise with some powerful strikes initially raised hopes for the hosts, but his untimely dismissal marked the beginning of their downfall. Losing four wickets inside the powerplay, Zimbabwe’s struggle intensified as the writing was on the wall. The Indian spinners then took control in the middle overs, effectively stifling Zimbabwe’s batting lineup. The required run-rate kept climbing, and the hosts crumbled under the mounting pressure. Wesley Madhevere’s sluggish and labored knock of 43 off 39 balls only added to their woes. India’s bowling attack was spearheaded by Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan, who both claimed three wickets each, while Ravi Bishnoi chipped in with a couple of crucial dismissals. The comprehensive performance from the Indian team left Zimbabwe never really in the reckoning.

Less than 24 hours after being bowled out for 102, India made a remarkable turnaround by posting 234/2 against Zimbabwe. Despite Shubman Gill’s (2) early departure, Abhishek and Gaikwad showcased their class. Zimbabwe’s disciplined bowling in the powerplay was countered with composure by the Indian duo. Abhishek, in particular, was lethal post powerplay, notching up his maiden T20I century before being dismissed by Masakadza in the 14th over after scoring 100 runs off 47 balls, which was decorated with seven boundaries and eight sixes. Gaikwad then took charge, and with support from Rinku Singh, who was promoted to number four, they punished the Zimbabwean bowlers. Zimbabwe’s fielding was ordinary, with several missed chances that could have changed the game’s complexion. The final over, bowled by Luke Jongwe, saw 21 runs being plundered, with Rinku Singh hitting consecutive sixes to finish with an explosive 48 off 22 balls. Gaikwad remained unbeaten on 77 off 47 balls.