HARARE – Pacer Deepak Chahar was man-of-the-match with 3-27 as India hammered Zimbabwe by 10 wickets on Thursday to take a 1-0 lead in the three match one-day series as the host side was handed a reality check following recent white-ball success over Bangladesh.

The Zimbabweans were bowled out for 189 at Harare Sports Club with Prasidh Krishna and spinner Axa Patel also taking three wickets each.

30-year-old right-armer Chahar was relieved to return to action with a match-winning performance after being out for six months due to injury.

“Every time you come back, it’s always important to score runs and take wickets if you can,” Chahar told reporters after the match.

“I’m so glad that I made a good contribution today.”

Zimbabwe’s total moved from 66-5 to 189 after the tail fought back with Brad Evans (33 not out) and Richard Ngarava (34) putting on 70 runs together, a record Zimbabwe highest ninth-wicket partnership against India.

In pursuit, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill cracked half-centuries as a polished India side chased down 190 at Harare Sports Club, untroubled by a toothless Zimbabwe bowling attacking missing two frontline bowlers.

The tourist’s swashbuckling chase on a batting track produced a record, as opener Dhawan became the 10th Indian batter to score more than 6500 in ODI cricket.

The 36-year-old left-hander faced 113 balls and smashed nine fours, running well between the wickets and rotating the strike brilliantly.

“Obviously Shikhar and Gill at the crease, we are talking of world-class batters here,” said Zimbabwe bowler Richard Ngarava.

“You have to be spot on, and they really batted well today. You need to be on top of your game to get them out.”

Even as India was cruising, singing Zimbabwe fans made their voices heard again in the stands as more sports followers in the Southern African country have turned to cricket during football’s international suspension by FIFA.

The next match is on Saturday.


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