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Zim stuns T20 World Champions India

Captain, Sikandar Raza led from the front with a sublime bowling performance taking three wickets for 25 runs from four overs.

ZIMBABWE stunned world champions India by 13 runs in the T20I international series opener at Harare Sports Club to give head coach, Justin Sammons and his technical team a perfect start.

The hosts lead the five-match series 1-0 and the second match is slated for this afternoon at the same venue.

Captain, Sikandar Raza led from the front with a sublime bowling performance taking three wickets for 25 runs from four overs. Raza pipped seamer Tendai Chatara, a strong contender for the player of the match award following his ability to defend 16 runs off the last over as Zimbabwe defended a low total 115/9 against the mighty India.

Chatara came in to bowl his final over off the last over the match with India needing 16 runs, the same number of runs the world champions needed off the last over of the recently completed T20I World Cup final against South Africa.

It was, however, Chatara the Manicaland Express, who composed himself to defend the target as Zimbabwe did to India what India did to South Africa.

The Asians were bowled out for 102 runs off the penultimate ball of the match to send the packed Harare Sports Club stands into a frenzy.

"We have got to take it one day at a time, job is not done yet, the series is not over," an ecstatic Raza said after the match.

"I don't think it's a 116 wicket nor a wicket where you get all out for 103 so credit to the bowlers. We were brilliant in the field, not perfect but that shows there's room for improvement."

After losing the toss Zimbabwe were put in to bat first and lost opener Innocent Kaia for a golden duck, bowled by Mukesh Kumar off his first ball; the seventh ball of the match.

Wesley Madhevere and Brian Bennett put up 34 runs for the second wicket before Bennett (22) was bowled by Ravi Bishnoi in the sixth over.

Madhevere (21) followed with 11 runs, later bowled by Bishnoi to leave Zimbabwe on 51/3 after 7.5 overs. Raza departed for a 19-ball 17, caught by Bishnoi off Avesh Khan to leave Zimbabwe sitting pretty on 74/4 after 11.5 overs.

A mix-up between set batsman Dion Myers (23) and new batter Jonathan Campbell saw the former being run out without facing any delivery as both scurried for cover in the same habitat.

Soon 74/4 became 90/9 as  Zimbabwe lost wickets in cluster leaving Clive Madande as the last recognised batman. His cameo of 29 runs off 2t balls took the team past 100 unbeaten on the crease together with Chatara with zero from nine balls.

Earlier, the Zimbabwe skipper had expressed his admiration for India as the world T20I champions but when they cross the line of battle it is a matter of life and death.

"For me every time I put on a Zimbabwe jersey it's very motivating. I do not treat any nation with any lesser or more respect, personally, that is. So, I respect India as much as I respect any other country as well. But, it's nice to have world champions in our home country. It's a very proud moment for them as it is for us as well to be playing the world champions," Raza said.

The second match of the series will be played at the same venue today and is scheduled to start at 1pm.


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