India seal series win against Zimbabwe
Once again, it was a clinical performance from Team India as they comprehensively defeated hosts Zimbabwe in the 5thODI by 7 wickets on Saturday to claim a historic 5-0 series win.It is India’s first-ever series whitewash away from home, along with being Virat Kohli’s maiden series victory as captain of the Indian team.
Earlier, India won the toss and elected to field first,bringing in Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan in place of Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu. Zimbabwe went in with four changes: Natsai Mushangwe,Kyle Jarvis, Timcyen Maruma and Tinotenda Mutombodzi replacing Michael Chinouya, Prosper Utseya,Sikandar Raza and Tandai Chatara.
Vusi Sibanda (5) was the first batsman to be dismissed, as he fell to Jaydev Unadkat (1/8). Skipper Brendan Taylor’s failures with the bat continued as he once again departed without scoring a run, this time to Mohit Sharma (1/25). Timcyen Maruma (4) was caught behind off Mohammad Shami (1/27) as Zimbabwe continued losing wickets at regular intervals. Hamilton Masakadza (32) was cleaned up by Ravindra Jadeja (1/42) in the 16th over, and Zimbabwe were struggling at 45/4. However, Sean Williams (51), was the only one who looked in good touch as he got to his fifty, reviving Zimbabwe’s troublesome state. Even then, wickets kept tumbling at the other end as Amit Mishra (6/48) ripped apart the batting line-up. Malcolm Waller (8), Elton Chigumbura (17), Tinotenda Mutombodzi (4), Natsai Mushangwe (16), Brian Vitori (4) and Williams, all fell like ninepins and Zimbabwe were all-out for 163 inside 40 overs.
The Indian chase began unexpectedly, as Cheteshwar Pujara (0) got out in a fashion similar to that of his dismissal in the previous match, in the very first over to Kyle Jarvis (2/18). However, it was Shikhar Dhawan (41) and Ajinkya Rahane (50) who built a solid 55-run 2nd wicket partnership to set up a comfortable passage of play in the middle overs. Post Dhawan’s dismissal to Jarvis, Ravindra Jadeja (48*) teamed up with Rahane and added 71 runs to the third wicket, before Rahane was clean bowled by Waller (1/18). Dinesh Karthik (10) scored the final few runs before Jadeja struck a massive six to take his side home. Shikhar Dhawan finished as the highest run-scorer in the series, with 209 runs in 4 matches, followed by Virat Kohli (197 runs in 5 games), while Amit Mishra bagged 18 scalps in 5 matches to end up as the leading wicket-taker, followed by Jaydev Unadkat (8 wickets in 5 games).