India won by 6 wicketsAuckland: Having reached the quarter-finals with one commanding performance after another, defending champions India will be aiming to finish their group league engagements with a flourish when they take on Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe showed sparks of brilliance throughout the tournament, but during the crucial moments, their fielding and bowling let them down. On the other hand, having won all their games in the Group stages of the tournament, India will go into their quarterfinal match against Bangladesh at the MCG with full of confidence.
India were given a real scare before they won a riveting contest that kept the jam-packed crowd hooked to the game. It was the experienced duo of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, who resurrected India's fortunes after they lost the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli. It was Raina, who initially tried to break the shackles by clouting Sean Williams for a couple of sixes. Dhoni started his innings cautiously, before imperiously smashing Solomon Mire for two boundaries. Both the batsmen also stole singles from under the very noses of Zimbabwe's fielders.
INDIA WON BY 6 WICKETS
India 288/4 after 48.4 overs
Suresh Raina 110 (104), MS Dhoni 85 (76)
Dhoni finishes off in style. 10th successive World Cup win for Dhoni. He is now second on the list of most World Cup wins in a row as captain. Short ball on the stumps, Dhoni rocks back and pulls it all the way over backward square leg. What a partnership that was. 196 off just 157 balls.
India 249/4 after 45 overs (39 runs to win)
Suresh Raina 101 (96), MS Dhoni 57 (62)
Suresh Raina is back in form with a scintillating century on the right time. India looks in good position from here. Dhoni is in 50s as well and the partnership has already crossed the 150 run mark. Definitely its India's game from here until they don't lose a wicket or more.
India 197/4 after 40 overs
Suresh Raina 70 (78), MS Dhoni 40 (49)
39/0 in the 5-over batting powerplay, just what India wanted at this stage. The most important thing is, they haven't lost a wicket. 91 off 60 is certainly getable, but wickets in hand will be key.
TIME FOR BATTING POWERPLAY
India 158/4 after 35 overs
Suresh Raina 48 (65), MS Dhoni 26 (32)
Zimbabwe's bowlers continued to maintain line and length. For a while, Suresh Raina struggled for timing but for now he looks to be well settled. Dhoni made a cautious start before he punished Solomon Mire for some poor bowling. India will certainly look up to Dhoni to lead from the front and play a captain's innings. India could have been in deeper trouble, when Masakadza dropped a sitter just before the second drinks break to give Raina a lifeline.
India 127/4 after 30 overs
Suresh Raina 38 (51), MS Dhoni 7 (16)
Dhoni and Raina have put on a decent stand here and are trying to score maximum. Raina who has been going through his tough time in the world cup so far is looking good. He smashed Sean Williams for two consecutive sixes but India still need to score at the run rate of 8 from here. Still lot of work to do.
India 98/4 after 25 overs
Suresh Raina 12 (29), MS Dhoni 4 (8)
India lost another wicket at the wrong time. This it was Virat Kohli who was left surprised by Sikandar Raza's slightly short ball down the leg side and was bowled round the legs. That was the wicket they wanted. With Ravindra Jadeja not in form, the current batting pair of Dhoni and Raina must now take up the responsibility. Till now nothing has been going in India's favor.
MS Dhoni walks in to bat at no. 6
Virat Kohli b Sikandar Raza 38 (48)
OUT! Kohli has been bowled round the legs, unfortunate dismissal for Kohli, India are in big trouble now. He went for a pull behind square, played the shot a bit too early, the ball hit the gloves and popped back onto the middle stump. Raza has provided Zimbabwe a huge huge breakthrough.
India 83/3 after 20 overs
Virat Kohli 36 (44), Suresh Raina 3 (11)
Panyangara then was rewarded for his disciplined effort with the wickets of Rohit and Dhawan. Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli looked in fine touch before Rahane was run out. India certainly find themselves in a spot of bother. Tendai Chatara and Tinashe Panyangara generally bowled with decent control with the new ball. Both the pacers generated a bit of movement in the air.
Suresh Raina comes in at no. 5
Meanwhile the players are taking a Drinks Break
Ajinkya Rahane run out 19 (24)
OUT! Big blow for India here. The stand has been broken. This was full and just outside off, driven away towards the close-in fielder at cover. Rahane wanted the run, but Kohli sent him back as he saw the fielder throwing in. Rahane has to turn back and puts in the dive, as he did so, the bat bounced up in the air even as Taylor broke the stumps.
India 65/2 after 15 overs
Virat Kohli 23 (28), Ajinkya Rahane 17 (21)
After a couple of setbacks in the beginning, Kohli and Rahane have so far tried to rebuild Indian innings. They are playing safe and smashing the poor deliveries for four. A decent partnership as well for the batting duo.
India 35/2 after 10 overs
Virat Kohli 11 (14), Ajinkya Rahane 0 (5)
35/2 in first 10 overs, that's the lowest powerplay score for India in this World Cup. Certainly not a start they wanted in a chase of 288. They lost both their openers cheaply. Rohit went for an on-drive but miscues and gets a top edge to covers followed by Dhawan who gets an inside edge onto the stumps while trying to go for a cut shot. Kohli and Rahane are on strike now and they need to set up a partnership here.
Ajinkya Rahane is in at no. 4
Shikhar Dhawan b Panyangara 4 (20)
OUT! And another wicket. India have lost both their openers now. This was short and just outside off, Dhawan was looking to cut it behind point, too close to the off-stump but only manages an inside edge back onto the off-stump.
Virat Kohli is in at no. 3
Rohit Sharma c Raza b Panyangara 16 (21)
OUT! This was full and on the stumps, Rohit was looking to whip it through the on-side, closed the face of the bat and gets a thick leading edge. The ball goes high and over cover, and Raza manages to hold on to it.
India 20/0 after 5 overs
Rohit Sharma 15 (15), Shikhar Dhawan 4 (15)
Decent start by the Indian openers here. Rohit started off with couple of boundaries in the first over by Panyangara followed by a maiden by Tendai Chatara. Dhawan too scored a boundary and will take his time to get settled.
Rohit has the strike and Tinashe Panyangara will start the proceedings for Zimbabwe
Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are walking in upto the middle
India will begin their chase shortly
The ground is short and it's batting pitch but the target of 288 won't be an easy task for Indian batsmen to chase. should be confident of chasing down the target. However, if Zimbabwe can take a few wickets with the new ball, it should make for an interesting contest.
For India, Mohit Sharma made his mark with his variations and snared three wickets. Shami and Umesh took three wickets as well. Both the spinners struggled, especially with short straight boundaries in place.
He soon composed his century in just 99 balls and reached the landmark in style by ramping Mohammed Shami for a six. He became the first player from Zimbabwe to score back-to-back centuries in World Cups. He now also has the most number of hundreds for Zimbabwe in ODIs. Once Taylor completed his hundred, he thumped Jadeja for 25 runs in the 41st over.
Brendan Taylor, in his last match for Zimbabwe, unfurled a slew of thunderous strokes to power them to a good total on the board. Dripping with brilliant stroke-play, Taylor lit up the Eden Park stadium. In particular, he took a heavy toll of Indian spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Zimbabwe 287 all out after 48.5 overs
Tawanda Mupariwa 1 (2)
60 wickets in 6 matches for India. When Zimbabwe smashed Jadeja for 25 runs in the 41st over, it looked like 300 was a certainty, but the Indian bowlers have come back well to take the last 6 wickets for just 52 runs.
Tendai Chatara b Yadav 0 (3)
OUT! That's all over for Zimbabwe. Full and straight. Chatara doesn't get behind the line, beaten for pace again. He looks to play it to the on-side, but misses and the ball crashes into middle off.
Tendai Chatara is the last man in
Regis Chakabva c Rohit b Yadav 10 (13)
OUT! And another wicket. Short and on the stumps from Yadav, Chakabva mistimes the pull as the bat turns in his hands, it goes up in the air, Rohit takes the catch at deep square leg.
Tawanda Mupariwa is in at no. 10
Tinashe Panyangara c Yadav b Shami 6 (6)
OUT! Length ball in the slot, it was there to be put away, Panyangara goes for the slog, but doesn't time it properly and Yadav takes an easy catch at deep mid-wicket.
Tinashe Panyangara is the new batsman in
Sikandar Raza b Shami 28 (15)
OUT! Shami gets his man. Shami bowls a fantastic yorker, Raza tries to reach for it and squeeze it out, but misses and it crashes into the base of middle and off.
Regis Chakabva is the next man in
Craig Ervine c & b Mohit 27 (41)
OUT! excellent slower delivery from Mohit that makes Ervine looks slightly amateur as he dances down before getting a top-edge with the ball flying high over to Mohit who takes a simple catch.
Sikandar Raza is in at no. 7
Brendan Taylor c Dhawan b Mohit 138 (110)
OUT! End of Brendan Taylor and he walks off to a standing ovation. Seam-up and on middle by Mohit, Taylor making room to go big, miscued it to Dhawan at mid-on. Emotional scenes out there. He get hugs from his teammates and the entire crowd is on its feet. Kohli and Dhawan walk up to him and congratulate him. That's a good sporting spirit.
India 207/4 after 40 overs
Brendan Taylor 113 (103), Craig Ervine 19 (34)
What an innings by Brendan Taylor. Before the match he said that he wanted to do his best in his last outing for Zimbabwe and he is doing that. He gets to his century in style with a ramp shot carved over third man for a six. With this he becomes the first and only Zimbabwe batsman to score back-to-back hundreds in a World Cup. The partnership has been flourished to 83 runs off just 70 deliveries.
India 158/4 after 35 overs
Brendan Taylor 79 (86), Craig Ervine 7 (21)
Taylor looked to unsettle the Indian spinners Ashwin and Jadeja by using the reverse sweep to good effect. He played late, showed good wrist-work, used the depth of the crease and stayed low to bisect the gaps in the field against the spinners. He is on 79 and looking to finish with a even bigger milestone.
India 128/4 after 30 overs
Brendan Taylor 55 (71), Craig Ervine 1 (6)
Zimbabwe will be slightly hurted as Taylor and Williams put up a 93-run stand before Williams was caught and bowled by Ashwin in a bit controversial manner. He was out for a quickfire 50 off 57 including 3 boundaries and 3 sixes. Brendan Taylor in his last match also scored his 33rd ODI half century.
Craig Ervine comes to the crease at no. 6
Sean Williams c & b Ashwin 50 (57)
OUT! Caught and bowled by Ashwin. Sean Williams came down the track and slammed it low and flat. Ashwin grabbed the ball throws it up in the air. But umpire referred to it to the third umpire. Ashwin bent down low and grabbed it, the fingers seemed to be under the ball. And it's out!
India 101/3 after 25 overs
Brendan Taylor 48 (58), Sean Williams 31 (46)
The bowlers are slightly put on backfoot with a half-century partnership between Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams. Boundaries have come in almost every over and takes Zimbabwe to get past the total of 100. 37 runs in last five overs at the run rate of 7.40.
India 64/3 after 20 overs
Brendan Taylor 31 (43), Sean Williams 11 (31)
After a poor start Zimbabwe are trying to get a partnership. Both Taylor and Williams are looking comfortable the middle but Indian bowlers continue to roll on. On a wicket that offered the Indian pacers pace and bounce, they started on a great note.
India 43/3 after 15 overs
Brendan Taylor 20 (32), Sean Williams 2 (12)
Indian bowlers are on fire. They are not giving the Zimbabwe batsmen anything. Despite couple of boundaries by Brendan Taylor things are still under control by India. Meanwhile Dhoni has used all his five bowling options in less than 15 overs. After the wicket of Solomon Mire, Mohit Sharma struggled with a twisted ankle but bowled a superb next delivery to Williams who gets an inside edge by dropped by Dhoni. Difficult chance that was.
Sean Williams comes in at no. 5
Solomon Mire c Dhoni b Mohit 9 (22)
OUT! Mohit strikes. Length delivery outside of off stump, Solomon Mire sparred at that and got a thin edge. Dhoni caught it and just threw the ball away. Solomon Mire just walked away, without waiting for the ump's decision. However the snicko shows that there was a feather edge.
India 27/2 after 10 overs
Solomon Mire 3 (16), Brendan Taylor 12 (20)
27/2 is the lowest powerplay score for Zimbabwe in this World Cup. After removing the two openers skipper Taylor and Solomon Mire have somehow managed to play through the first 10 overs without losing more wicket. Both of them are looking good and playing very safe. They need to save wickets from here in order to post a respectable total on the board.
India 13/2 after 5 overs
Solomon Mire 2 (3), Brendan Taylor 0 (3)
Opening bowlers for India Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav continues their excellent run with two new balls from each end. With good pace, bounce and movement both the bowlers are making the batsmen to play away from the body which resulted in two quick wickets of both the openers Masakadza and Chibhabha.
Skipper Brendan Taylor walks in to bat
Chamu Chibhabha c Dhawan b Shami 7 (16)
OUT! Another edge and another wicket. Chibhabha played a back foot punch, which produces a thick edge to Dhawan at first slip. A very good catch that was. It was going to the second slip - which is vacant, but Dhawan moved swiftly to his right and he caught it with both hands.
Solomon Mire is the next man in
Hamilton Masakadza c Dhoni b Yadav 2 (8)
OUT! India's good run with the new ball continues. Pitched up by Yadav and going away, Masakadza went for the drive and could only get a thin edge back through to the keeper. His poor World Cup continues.
Mohammed Shami has the first new ball and Chibhabha on strike.
Zimbabwe openers Chamu Chibhabha and Hamilton Masakadza are in the middle.
The pitch is a good for batting and because of the short boundaries, even the mistimed shots from Dhoni, Kohli, Dhawan will go into the stands.
Zimbabwe (Playing XI): Chamu Chibhabha, Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor(w/c), Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Solomon Mire, Regis Chakabva, Tinashe Panyangara, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tendai Chatara
India (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav
India too are going in with the same squad. The captain do not want to change the winning combination.
Emotional day for Taylor he says. They are playing with the same squad that played against Ireland.
Toss Time: India have won the toss and have elected to bowl first
Definetely he will want to give his best and would like to finish his 11 year career on a winning note here.
For Zimbabwe captain it will be his last ODI outing. In a statement made to the media he said, "It's not an easy decision to quit international cricket at the age of 29 but I had to take the tough decision keeping in mind his family's needs, which won't happen if he continues playing Tests and ODIs for my country."
It was a hot day when both teams trained on the eve of the game and more of it is likely to continue on match day. A high of 25C is predicted for the game.
India's batting has been rock solid with all the top seven getting some runs under their belt but the story of the tournament so far has been their bowling.
The match against Zimbabwe is an inconsequential affair in terms of statistics but a chance to complete an all-win record is something that the ‘Men in Blue' would like to take with them before the business end of the global event starts.
India are currently on a roll in the tournament as they have practically crushed most of their oppositions save the West Indies, which at the most gave them a scare during the group league game at the WACA in Perth.