A listless India received their second mauling in a week at the hands of hosts Zimbabwe, who crushed them by seven wickets in the ongoing cricket tri-series in Harare on Thursday .
In a shock repeat of the tournament opener, India dished out yet another pathetic display in all three departments of the game to suffer a crushing defeat with 11.4 overs to spare that seriously jeopardised their chances of reaching the June 9 final.
Put into bat, India's famed line-up came out with a shoddy display to crawl to a below-par 194 for nine in 50 overs. Things, in fact, could have been worse but for Ravindra Jadeja's gritty 72-ball 51 down the order.
India needed to bowl out of their skin to defend the paltry total but Zimbabwe cashed in on a steady start and cruised to 197 for three in 38.2 overs to humble their opponents. This was also India's first back-to-back defeat against the minnows.
For Zimbabwe, Brendan Taylor (74) and Hamilton Masakadza (66) scored bulk of the runs with their 128-run opening partnership in 26.3 overs as the hosts bagged five points, including a bonus, from the match.
They now have nine points from three matches that brightened their chance for a place in the final.
India now must beat Sri Lanka on Saturday and then wait for the outcome of the islanders' match against Zimbabwe on Monday for a place in the final.
Needing less than five runs an over, Zimababwe made a slow but steady start with Masakzada and Taylor shunning risk in the first half hour before stepping up the tempo once they settled down.
Taylor, who played some exquisite shots including a six off Umesh Yadav, reached his fifty in the 17th over off 59 balls with a single off Jadeja.
India could break the Zimbabwean opening stand in only the 27th over with Ojha removing Taylor who holed out to long-off fielder Murali Vijay but not before taking the home side to the threshold of victory.
After Taylor was out, Masakzada took upon himself the responsibility of maintaining the momemtum. Once he reached to his fifty, Masakzada hoisted Amit Mishra for two successive sixes in the 30th over to raise the 150 of Zimbabwe innings.
Masakadza was out in the 32nd over of the bowling of Jadeja with Virat Kohli taking a stunning catch.
Jadeja (2/27) got his second wicket in the form of Charles Coventry (20) before captain Elton Chigumbura (16 not out) and Tatenda Taidu (13 not out) took Zimbabwe home comfortably. PTI