India thrashed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the second T20 International to draw alevel in the three-match series 1-1 at the Harare Sports Club. Chasing a paltry target of 100, openers Lokesh Rahul (47 not out) and Mandeep Singh (52 not out) got the team over the line with 35 balls to spare. This is India’s first 10-wicket win in the shortest format of the game.
Unlike in the first T20I where the Indian batting collapsed, the opening duo displayed a stellar show and paced their innings to perfection to bring up the 50 in 46 balls and then carried on the momentum.
Both Rahul and Mandeep consumed 40 balls for their respective scores. While Mandeep fired six boundaries and a six, Rahul blasted two fours and as many sixes in his knock.
On the other hand, Zimbabwean bowlers had no clue as the right-handed duo took them to the cleaners at will with Mandeep finishing the game with a flourishing cut over point and also reach his maiden half century in the T20 International.
Earlier, Zimbabwe succumbed to their lowest T20I total at the venue after a fiery four-wicket haul from left-arm debutant seamer Barinder Sran restricted them to 99/9 in their 20 overs.
The Punjab pacer was amply supported by fellow seamer Jasprit Bumrah, who took three wickets to break the backbone of the home batting after Zimbabwe elected to bat.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Moor, who replaced injured Richmond Mutumbani, top-scored for the home side with 31 runs while Malcoln Waller scored 14 but no other batsman found his feet in the middle.
Sran who opened the bowling got opener Chamu Chibhabha (10) cheaply and then returned to take three wickets — Hamilton Masakadza (10), Sikandar Raza (1) and Tinotenda Mutombodzi — in the same over to reduce Zimbabwe to 28/4.
Bumrah then joined the party, taking the key wicket of Moor, whose 32-ball knock was laced with two fours and a six. The right-armer then packed Elton Chigumbura (8) and Neville Madziva (1) in quick succession to get his three sclaps.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni also took one wicket apiece. While Chahal dismissed Waller (14), Kulkarni got the wicket of skipper Graeme Cremer (4).
Sran was adjudged Man of the Match for his match-winning effort.
With the series locked at 1-1, the third and final T20I at the same venue on Wednesday promises to be an exciting battle.