India clean sweep ODI series against Zimbabwe

Harare: Shubman Gill’s maiden ODI hundred outshined Sikandar Raza’s hard-fought sixth ODI century as India survived a scare to win the third and final ODI by 13 runs and complete a 3-0 series sweep of Zimbabwe here.

After Gill’s top-class 130 off 97 balls, laced with 15 fours and a six took India to 289-8, Zimbabwe were down and out in the run chase at 169-7. In came Raza and he slammed 115 off 95 balls, including nine fours and three sixes, to bring Zimbabwe on the verge of a huge victory.

Raza also shared a 104-run stand off 79 balls with Brad Evans (28), who had earlier taken his maiden five-for in ODI cricket, 5-54 in ten overs, as a boisterous home crowd cheered them on.

With 33 needed off the last three overs, India took out the last three wickets, including Evans and Raza in successive overs to complete a narrow victory as Zimbabwe just fell short of crossing the line. For the visitors, Avesh Khan took 3/66 while Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar took two wickets each and Shardul Thakur had a scalp against his name.

With 95 needed off the last ten overs, Raza hammered crisp fours off Avesh and dispatched Chahar for a flat inside-out six over extra cover. With a single through cover off Thakur, Raza got his third century in the last six matches to keep Zimbabwe alive in the run-chase. He went on to take Avesh for four and six more as a famous victory loomed for Zimbabwe.

Earlier, captain KL Rahul and his deputy Shikhar Dhawan put on 64 runs for the opening stand. After the duo fell, Gill and Ishan Kishan (50 off 64 balls, six fours) put on 140 for the third wicket to give India a good total on a used pitch. Zimbabwe then pulled back in the last ten overs, picking six wickets while conceding 79 runs.

Image courtesy of (WION)

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