Raina stars in India’s T20 win over Zimbabwe

Sunday, June 13, 2010

HARARE - Suresh Raina led from the front as India again strolled to a seven wicket victory against Zimbabwe in the second Twenty20 International Sunday and wrapped up the series 2-0 at the Harare Sports Club here.

Chasing 141, India reached the target with two overs to spare. Raina smashed an unbeaten 72 off 44 balls while Murali Vijay contributed 46 off 39.

Put into bat, Zimbabwe were restricted to 140 for five, with Tatenda Taibu scoring 45 off 40 balls and Charles Coventry making a breezy 28 from 13 balls.

India, who lost to Zimbabwe twice in the ODI tri-series, reigistered their first win against the hosts Saturday with an impressive seven wicket victory and carried the good form Sunday.

“By the grace of God, it has been a great last few weeks. Rohit, Virat and the bowlers have done well,” said Raina heaving a sigh of relief at the end of the tour.

India were quick to snatch early advantage as pacer Ashok Dinda (2-15) removed opener Hamilton Masakadza in the third over.

A tight line from Indian bowlers saw the hosts scrambling just 16 runs in their first five overs.

Opener Brendan Taylor (27) and wicketkeeper Taibu steadied the ship with a 43-run stand for the third wicket. Taylor struck three boundaries in his 33-ball innings before falling to a stunning catch by Yusuf Pathan at long on.

Taibu and Coventry then added 42-runs which was broken when a Dinda (2-15) yorker knocked off the latter’s stumps.

Skipper Elton Chigumbura gave the late charge adding 18 from just six balls that included back-to-back sixes and a four courtesy off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Indian openers Vijay and Naman Ojha raised 32 runs before Ray Price (1-25) had Ojha caught by Tendai Chatara.

Vijay and Raina mixed caution with aggresion as they added 79 runs off 58 balls to take the game away from the hosts.

Vijay finally holed out to long-on in the 15th over after smashing two fours and three sixes for his 39-ball 46.

Raina, who hit six fours and two sixes, guided India to victory as he stroked his third T20 half-century.

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