India gains six out of six, while Taylor bids goodbye in style
In the 6th match of India in the ICC World Cup, 2015, India faced Zimbabwe at Auckland on 14th March, 2015. The match was supposed to make no difference to either team, since India had already qualified for the quarter-finals where they will face Bangladesh, while Zimbabwe already knocked out of the tournament. India went into this game with five wins in all five of the matches they played in the tournament, while Zimbabwe only had one win.
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However, after a pretty close match, India beat Zimbabwe by 6 wickets. Zimbabwe scored 287 runs in 48.5 overs, with all their wickets down. The match was MS Dhoni’s first match against Zimbabwe as the captain of the Indian team in any format. This essentially means that MSD has managed to become the most successful captain of the country in the ODI format without having to even win a single match against Zimbabwe.
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Dhoni won the toss, and interestingly, sent Zimbabwe to bat first on the grassless pitch of Eden Park, with the belief that the pitch would not change much. He was probably hoping for a quick finish of the first innings, and was confident that the short boundaries would help India chase any run put up by the opponent, quite easily.
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M. Shami of India started with a new ball, as Zimbabwe’s Chamu Chibhabha and Hamilton Masakadza were the two openers on the pitch. The first wicket was of Masakadza at 3.3 overs as he hit the delivery by Yadav. This was closely followed by another loss of wicket as Shami took Chibhaba’s wicket, who departed in the 4.3 over, as Dhawan dived into grab the ball at the end of his hit. Zimbabwe lost 3 wickets in quick succession, and the team was reduced to a mere 33 in only the first 11 overs, after which, the game stayed somewhat stable for Zimbabwe, slowly building their way to a partnership of their half century in the 20th over, as Brendan Taylor reached 31 and Sean Williams reached 11.
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Zimbabwe’s game was lifted by Taylor’s century, as we scored 138 runs in 110 balls. His innings was decorated with 15 boundaries and five 6s. This was an emotional moment for Taylor, as the match was his final international before he accepts English county contract. Although his smashing performance did not help Zimbabwe win the match, it definitely was the way to go out in style. Sean Williams was the second highest score, with 50 runs. As for India’s fielding, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma each took three wickets. However, Jadeja and Aswin displayed a rather poor performance with spin bowling.
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As Zimbabwe were all out in 48.5 overs, they ended their innings with an unexpected score of 287. Thus, even though India started well in the first innings, they lost their weight as the match proceeded. At the end of the first innings, though, India emerged as the only team to have their opponent teams all out in all the World Cup 2015 matches.
As India came to bat, all eyes were on Shikhar Dhawan to redeem the team. Unfortunately, the man in form, Dhawan, was knocked out at just the 6.5 over, by Chatara. As Dhawan was sent back to the pavilion, it added a further blow to the already slow start of India’s batting. In fact, the match saw the slowest power play of India in this World Cup tournament, and the slow pace continued till, till Rahane picked it up a little in the 11th over. However, it did not go too well for India.
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However, India list Rahane as he was run out at 19. It was a close call, as he pushed the bat by the back end of making, and hence, the bat was in air where it actually counted. This was another big blow for India, and India’s condition seemed pretty weak. The team lost another reliable batsman, Virat Kohli, to a delivery by Raza, after he scored 38 runs in 48 balls.
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The team’s first 6, a big one of 81 metres, was smashed by Suresh Raina, and it came in the 29.1 over. It was followed by another ball in the very next ball. It was Raina who lifted India’s bleak condition, as he scored 110 in just 104 balls, with a stunning strike rate of 105.8. He had a great partnership with skipper Dhoni, who himself managed to score 85 in just 76 balls. Dhoni and Raina played exceptionally well together, and struck a fantastic partnership of 196 runs, which eventually helped in redeeming the match for team India.
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Zimbabwe could have used their strong score to get a win by combining it with good fielding. In fact, they started pretty well, as it seemed that India was headed for its first loss in the tournament. The first two wickets were taken by Panyangara who bowled pretty well with the new ball, as he conceded 53 runs in 8.4 overs. He was closely followed by Chatara bowled well, too, yielding 59 runs in 10 overs, but had no luck with the wickets. However, the course of the match changed completely near the end of the match, especially in the last 10 overs of their innings. Dhoni scored the winning shot, as he smashed a 6 and sent the ball right into the cheering gallery, when there were just 6 runs left to score with 9 balls remaining. Suresh Raina was declared the Player of the Match for his century that contributed to his team’s win.
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Zimbabwe Batting First Innings
|Chamu Chibhabha||c Dhawan b Shami||7||16||1||0||43.75|
|Hamilton Masakadza||c Dhoni b Umesh||2||8||0||0||25|
|Solomon Mire||c Dhoni b Mohit Sharma||9||22||1||0||40.90|
|Brendan Taylor||c Dhawan b Mohit Sharma||138||110||15||5||125.45|
|Sean Williams||c & b Ashwin||50||57||3||3||87.71|
|Craig Ervine||c & b Mohit Sharma||27||41||1||1||65.85|
|Sikandar Raza||b Shami||28||15||1||3||186.66|
|Regis Chakabva||c Rohit b Umesh||10||13||0||0||76.92|
|Tinashe Panyangara||c Umesh b Shami||6||6||1||0||100|
|Tawanda Mupariwa||not out||1||2||0||0||50|
|Tendai Chatara||b Umesh||1||3||0||0||0|
India Bowling First Innings
|Bowler||Over||Maidens||Runs||Wicket||Economy Rate||No Ball||Wide|
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India Batting Second Innings
|Rohit Sharma||c S Raza b Panyangara||16||21||2||0||76.19|
|Shikhar Dhawan||b Panyangara||4||20||1||0||20|
|Virat Kohli||b S Raza||38||48||4||0||79.16|
|Ajinkya Rahane||run out (S Raza/Brendan Taylor)||19||24||3||0||79.16|
|Suresh Raina||Not Out||110||104||9||4||105.76|
|MS Dhoni||Not Out||85||76||8||2||111.84|
Zimbabwe Bowling Second Innings
|Bowler||Overs||Maidens||Runs||Wicket||Economy rate||No Ball||Wide|
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Toss: India won the toss and elected to field
Referee: Roshan Mahanama (SL)
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZ), Bruce Oxenford (AUS) and Rod Tucker (AUS)
Man of the Match: Suresh Raina
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