Zimbabwe upset India second time in succession

HARARE: Zimbabwe pulled off a spectacular double against India in a tri-nations series match at Harare Sports Club here on Thursday, winning with three wickets and a huge 11.4 overs to spare.

India were held down to 194-9, having scored at below four runs per over.

Zimbabwe made 197-3 with ease in reply, due mainly to an opening partnership of 128 between Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza.

But Zimbabwe''s veteran medium-pace bowler Andy Blignaut also came up with a major contribution, taking just one wicket but giving away only 22 runs in his 10 overs.

Zimbabwe''s performance in reaching the winning target in less than 40 overs secured a bonus point that will be crucial in their efforts to reach the final.

Taylor made 74 in his 100th ODI to add to his 81 against India in the opening clash of the series and Mazakadza put together a solid 66, having scored 62 against Sri Lanka and 44 in the previous India match.

It was Taylor''s 19th fifty in ODIs and Masakadza''s 16th. Taylor was named man of the match, giving him a personal double after he picked up the same award for his 81 against India last Thursday.

After the match, Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura was full of praise for his bowling five, who all used their allocation of 10 overs, as well as the Masakadza-Taylor duo at the top of the order.

India had begun their innings with Murali Vijay and Dinesh Karthik putting on 58 for the first wicket, but it was made at less than three an over.

After 25 overs India had scored only 86 runs and it seemed likely from there that they would struggle to make 200.

This meant relying on a Zimbabwe collapse. Instead it was Zimbabwe''s day for a runs spree.

Rohit Sharma, who scored centuries in his two previous innings, was disappointed to be run out for three runs this time.

The home team will probably feel justified that, with the bonus point won, they can now look forward to the final, something that was unexpected at the beginning of the tournament against such illustrious opponents.