HARARE, June 18: A fancied India suffered a shocking two-run defeat at the hands of an unheralded Zimbabwe as they failed to chase down a tricky target in the first T20 International cricket match, here today.
Chasing a target of 171, India were restricted to 168 for six with seamer Neville Madziva bowling a brilliant over to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
After a 3-0 cakewalk in the preceding ODI series, India were brought down to earth by this embarrassing defeat in which captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni�s reputation as a finisher again took a beating.
Needing only 8 off the final over, Dhoni who couldn�t connect a single big shot during his sedate 19 off 17 balls. Surprisingly, Dhoni took single to expose Himachal Pradesh�s Rishi Dhawan (1), who simply lacked quality or ability to hit the ball out of the park.
Madziva bowled fuller and a few length deliveries, mixing it up nicely as the few hundreds of Zimbabwean supporters were ecstatic in joy.
Earlier, India�s rookie bowlers were taken to cleaners by the seasoned Elton Chigumbura, who smashed an unbeaten 55 to help Zimbabwe reach a competitive 170 for six in 20 overs. The trio of T20 debutants Rishi Dhawan (1/42 in 4 overs), Yuzvendra Chahal (1/38 in 4 overs) and Jaydev Unadkat (0/43 in 4 overs) gave away 123 runs in 12 overs.
Chigumbura hit seven lusty sixes along with a boundary to give his team something to fight for with his 26-ball knock.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel (1/18 in 4 overs) and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (2/24) put the brakes on the host nation. Bumrah once again proved to be the best performer as he bowled 13 dot balls.
Zimbabwe: C Chibhabha b Dhawan 20, H Masakadza c Dhoni b Bumrah 25, R Mutumbami retired hurt 0, Sikandar Raza run out 20, M Waller b Chahal 30, C Mutombodzi c Dhawan b Patel 3, E Chigumbura not out 54, G Cremer c Dhawan b Bumrah 4, N Madziva not out 5; Extras (lb-5, w-3, nb-1) 9. Total (For 6 wickets; 20 overs) 170. Fall of wickets: 1-33, 1-34, 2-50, 3-97, 4-98, 5-111, 6-130. Bowling: Unadkat 4-0-43-0, Dhawan 4-0-42-1, Bumrah 4-1-24-2, Patel 4-0-18-1, Chahal 4-0-38-1.
India: KL Rahul b Tiripano 0, M Singh c Mutombodzi b Chibhabha 31, A Rayudu b Chibhabha 19, M Pandey c Tiripano b Muzarabani 48, K Jadhav b Muzarabani 19, MS Dhoni not out 19, A Patel c sub b Madziva 18, R Dhawan not out 1. Extras (LB-2, WD-11) 13. Total (For 6 wickets in 20 overs) 168. Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-44, 3-53, 4-90, 5-143, 6-164. Bowling: D Tiripano 4-0-35-1, N Madziva 4-0-34-1, T Muzarabani 4-0-31-2, C Chibhabha 2-0-13-2, S Raza 3-0-18-0, G Cremer 3-0-35-0. � PTI