HARARE, June 13: A clinical India clinched the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, pulling off another fine all-round show to crush the minnows by eight wickets for an unassailable 2-0 lead, here today.
It was a dominant performance yet again from the new-look Indian side whose bowlers first skittled the hosts for a lowly 126 in 34.3 overs and the batsmen hardly broke a sweat to get past the target in only 26.5 overs.
If India manage a �whitewash� by winning the third ODI on Wednesday, then it would be a hat-trick of series wins for the Indian teams, maintaining a clean slate in the African nation after their victories in 2013 and 2015.
If young leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3/25) broke the backbone of the Zimbabwe middle-order, it was Ambati Rayudu who hit 41 off 44 balls to finish the game with a flourish.
With the target hardly posing any challenge, last match�s centurion KL Rahul (33) added 58 runs in company of Karun Nair (39 off 68 balls) for the opening stand. The Rayudu-Nair pair added 67 runs for the second wicket.
Nair, on his part, got much-needed confidence with some runs under his belt but the manner in which he played was more about self preservation on a slightly tricky track.
When Nair was finally gone trying to sweep a straight delivery from Graeme Cremer, India needed only two runs which Manish Pandey (4 no) completed with a boundary.
But it was Rayudu, who hit a flurry of boundaries � seven in all to finish the match with 23.1 overs to spare.
With ball darting around a bit, the Indian batsmen were cautious and Nair for one was lucky to get a reprieve when he edged one off Tendai Chatara only to find that the bowler had overstepped.
He celebrated his charmed life with a down the ground hit off the very next ball.
Nair also drove and pulled Chatara for a couple of boundaries to settle down into a good rhythm.
Zimbabwe: H Masakadza c Bumrah b Sran 9, C Chibhabha lbw b Kulkarni 21, P Moor lbw b Sran 1, V Sibanda c Jadhav b Chahal 53, Sikandar Raza c Jadhav b Chahal 16, E Chigumbura lbw b Chahal 0, R Mutumbami c Dhoni b Bumrah 2, A Cremer not out 7, T Chatara b Kulkarni 2, T Muzarabani lbw b Patel 5, S Williama absent hurt 0. Extras: (LB-4, W-5, NB-1) 10. Total: (all out; 34.3 overs) 126. Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-21, 3-39, 4-106, 5-106, 6-107, 7-112, 8-115, 9-126. Bowling: B Sram 6-1-17-2, D Kulkarni 9-1-31-2, J Bumrah 6-0-27-1, A Patel 7.3-0-22-1, Y Chahal 6-2-25-3.
India: KL Rahul b Chibhabha 33, K Nair lbw b Sikandar Raza 39, A Rayudu not out 41, M Pandey not out 4. Extras: (LB-1, W-9, NB-2) 12. Total: (For 2 wkts; 26.5 overs) 129. Fall of wickets: 1-58, 2-125. Bowling: T Chatara 8-1-40-0, T Muzarabani 3-1-13-0, C Chibhabha 9-1-31-1, A Cremer 3-0-17-0, E Chigumbura 2-0-20-0, Sikandar Raza 1.5-0-7-1. � PTI