India beat Zimbabwe in a thrilling first ODI by 4 runs

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Ambati Rayudu saved the day for India
Ambati Rayudu saved the day for India

Starting their campaign on winning note, India beat Zimbabwe by four runs in the first one-day international of the three-match series at Harare Sports Club on 10 July.

Zimbabwe skipper Chigumbura scored an unbeaten 104, but missed out on six needed to win the match. The Zimbabwe batsman, who scored a second successive ODI hundred in 96 balls, took his side almost to a stunning victory.

Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar held his nerves and conceded only five runs in his last over, while defending nine runs off the last six balls. Chasing a 256-run target, Zimbabwe managed only 251/7 in their 50 overs.

Chigumbura’s 86-run stand with Graeme Cremer (27), for the seventh wicket gave jittery moments to the visitors in the final overs. The hosts were kept in the match despite losing wickets at regular intervals by their captain. Sikandar Raza was the second best batsman for the hosts; he scored a quick 37 off 33 balls, which included five boundaries.

Indian spinners along with Kumar bowled a tight line and shared four wickets between them, conceding 122 runs in their 30 overs.

Earlier, Ambati Rayudu scored an unbeaten 133-ball 124 to guide India to a respectable 255/6 against Zimbabwe. He was supported by Binny, who scored his career best 77. The duo added 160-run stand for the sixth wicket. For Zimbabwe, medium-pacer Chamu Chibhabha was the pick of the bowlers. He finished with 2/25 in 10 overs.

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