Harare: Kedar Jadhav struck a career-best 105 not out to enable India recover from a top-order collapse and post a competitive 276 for five against Zimbabwe in the third and final One-day International of the three-match series at the Harare Sports Club here today.
Jadhav, in the able company of Manish Pandey (71), put on a crucial 144-run stand for the fifth wicket to steer India past 270-run mark.
Pandey and Jadhav joined hands when India were in a spot of bother at 82 for four, but the duo played maturely to resurrect the innings.
A cameo in the end by Stuart Binny (18), who also shared an unbeaten 50-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Jadhav, helped the visitors to a decent total.
While Pandey's innings came off 86 deliveries and was studded with four boundaries and a solitary hit over the fence, Jadhav struck 12 fours and a six during his 87-ball quickfire knock.
Apart from the duo, Robin Uthappa (31) was the only other Indian batsman, who tried to consolidate the innings after the early jitters.
Put in to bat, India did not have the best of starts as they lost openers Ajinkya Rahane (15) and Murali Vijay (13) early, with pacer Neville Madziva claiming the two important wickets to leave India reeling at 33 for two in 7.1 overs.
Besides Madziva, Chamu Chibhabha (1/55), Hamilton Masakadza (1/31) and Prosper Utseya (1/41) picked up a wicket apiece for the hosts.
With the ball doing enough to trouble the batsmen, India found it difficult to score at a quick rate and although Uthappa tried hard, he also failed to accelerate. Uthappa's dismissal for a 44-ball 31 did not help the visitors' cause.
Manoj Tiwary (10) also failed yet again as India witnessed an early batting collapse.
But Pandey and Jadhav steadied the innings and played some delightful shots during their stay at the middle.On their part, Zimbabwe dropped a number of catches to let the Indians off the hook. Centurion Pandey was dropped as many as three times. After Pandey's dismissal, Binny provided able support to Jadhav, hitting two fours and a six during his eight-ball 18-run innings.