Zimbabwe shock India in first T20I

Zimbabwe outclassed the current World Champions. (PC: X.com)

The game saw continuous shifts in momentum, with India and Zimbabwe fighting to take control. The match came down to the final over, with India needing 16 runs from six balls. Tendai Chatara brought all his experience to the fore and bowled an exceptional last over to secure a victory for Zimbabwe that gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the series. This was the lowest total that Zimbabwe ever defended against India in T20Is.

India’s innings faced challenges from the outset. A target of 116 should have been chased, but the Indian batters struggled on a tricky pitch, against the guile of Zimbabwe bowlers. Wickets fell rapidly, and the unpredictable bounce added to India’s woes. Only skipper Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, and Avesh Khan reached double figures, while the rest of the IPL stars faltered, leading to India losing by 13 runs.

India’s first four wickets fell for just 22 runs, within the Powerplay. Debutant Dhruv Jurel tried to stabilise the innings but was dismissed before the 10th over with India yet to reach 50. Gill tried to anchor the innings but was bowled by his counterpart Sikandar Raza in the 11th over with the score still below 50. After Gill’s wicket, India somehow managed to stay in the game until the last over with a slim chance of victory.

However, the target proved too challenging, and India ultimately fell short. 

Earlier, India’s spinners took charge, with Ravi Bishnoi and Washington claiming six wickets between them, conceding just 24 runs. The Zimbabwe batters struggled to read the turn. Avesh Khan initiated the breakthrough by dismissing Raza, and Bishnoi and Washington quickly dismantled the lower-order. Bishnoi, in particular, shone with career-best figures of 4/13.

Clive Madande provided a late rally for Zimbabwe, lifting them from a precarious 90-9 to 115.

Not just the batting, but India’s fielding was below par today. And this is an area the team management needs to address in the next matchs. Additionally, fast bowlers weren’t impressive either.