HARARE: Opening batters Shubman Gill and Shikhar Dhawan starred as India cruised to a 10-wicket victory over Zimbabwe on Thursday in the first of three One-day Internationals.
Shubman Gill (82) and vice-captain Shikhar Dhawan (81) were unbeaten as the tourists knocked off a modest target of 190 with 19.1 overs to spare at Harare Sports Club.
The home side were all out for 189 in 40.3 overs, thanks largely to a brave 70-run ninth-wicket stand between Richard Ngarava and Brad Evans.
“I am enjoying batting with young Shubman and today I feel like a youngster too,” said Dhawan.
“Once I was set, I went after the bowlers. I wanted to rotate the strike as well and then accelerate.
“My rhythm with Gill has settled nicely. The way he bats and times the ball is lovely to watch. He has shown the consistency in converting 50s into bigger 50s. “Our bowlers did well and it was nice to see Deepak Chahar come back from injury and pick up three wickets.”
Zimbabwe captain Regis Chakabva said: “India bowled really well and put pressure on us. I thought we started well but lost our way from the 18-over mark.
“It was good to see Richie and Brad give a good partnership at the back end. They were quite good, but we needed one or two more big partnerships.
“Our bowlers tried to come hard at them but Shikhar and Gill batted really well and took us out of the game.”
In trouble at 83-6 after being put in to bat by India, the home side rallied with Ngarava scoring 34 and Evans unbeaten on 33.
Ngarava faced 42 deliveries and smashed a six and three fours before being clean bowled by Prasidh Krishna.
Evans also struck a six and three fours, off 29 balls, as Zimbabwe sought in vain to extend a run of nine victories in 11 matches since Dave Houghton became coach in June.
The other Zimbabwe batsman to impress was Chakabva, whose 35 runs included four fours.
Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar and Krishna shared the Indian bowling honours with three wickets each.
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