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Tuesday, Jan 28th

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You are here: Cricket One Day Internationals Mishra takes 6 to help India wrap up Zimbabwe series 5-0

Mishra takes 6 to help India wrap up Zimbabwe series 5-0

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It was a familiar tale at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo as India bowled out their hosts Zimbabwe for just 163 in the fifth and final match of their one day international series with Amit Mishra once again proving too good for the Zimbabwe middle order, taking 6 wickets to speed up their demise. India then knocked off the runs in just 34 overs with Ajinkya Rahane (50), Ravindra Jadeja (48*) and Shikhar Dhawan (41) all making handy contributions to seal a series whitewash in another virtual no contest.

India won the toss once again in this game and followed the familiar route of putting the opposition in to bat, looking to make the most of the morning freshness. Shikhar Dhawan returned to the side for this game with Rohit Sharma sitting out after scoring a half-century in the last one, while Ajinkya Rahane got his first outing of the summer at the expense of Ambati Rayudu. The bowling unit was unchanged from the last game, which meant still no debut for J&K allrounder Parvez Rasool, who would need to wait a while to earn his maiden Indian cap.

Zimbabwe meanwhile also made some changes to their side with Kyle Jarvis and Mutombodzi recalled to the team, while Timycen Maruma also got the nod in the middle order.

India gave the new ball to Jaydev Unadkt, and the young left-arm seamer responded with an excellent opening spell. Mohit Sharma also did well from the other end as India kept the Zimbabwe batsmen on a tight leash. Unadkt provided India the breakthrough by getting rid of Vusi Sibanda for 5, caught behind. Sharma then had Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor caught at second slip for naught as the hosts slipped to 23-2 at the end of 9 overs.

Mohammad Shami bowling with an older ball, got the wicket of the newcome Maruma for 4, but it was a fortunate one as the batsman was given out caught behind with the ball seemingly brushing his pad. At the other end, Hamilton Masakadza had been scoring freely, and contributed a crucial 32 before being bowled by Ravindra Jadeja's arm ball.

With the top 4 back in the hutch it was time for the Amit Mishra show and the leggie struck with his first ball, a long hop which Malcolm Waller failed to clear mid-on with.

A 50-run stand between Sean Williams (51) and Elton Chigumbura slowed India's assault on the Zimbabwean batsman before Mishra ran riot, first trapping Chigumbura leg before for 17 before accounting for Mutombodzi in the same over. Mishra's next over brought the big wicket of Williams, caught at slip, top edging an attempted sweep before the leg spinner ran through the tail to bring Zimbabwe's innings to a premature end in just the 40th over for 163.

India needed to come out and bat for a short while before the lunch break, and it proved to fatal for Cheteshwar Pujara, who was bowled for the second straight game, this time without any score. Shikhar Dhawan counter attacked from the other end, hitting Vitori to the fence three times in his second over.

Dhawan was on a rampage, and was once again the beneficiary of an extra life when Brendan Taylor dropped him for the second time this series, this time fluffing a skier he should have left for the fielder at short fine leg. Dhawan, for once, didn't make Zimbabwe pay as he was dismissed for 41 shortly after the resumption of play with Jarvis getting him to nick the ball through to Taylor, much to the relief of the Zimbabwe keeper.

Ravindra Jadeja was bumped up the order to no.4 as he looked to finally get a decent opportunity with the bat this series, and joined Ajinkya Rahane out in the middle. Rahane and Jadeja added 71 for the third wicket to confirm the result before the former was bowled by Waller for an even 50. Jadeja, who had largely played second fiddle to Rahane till that point looked to go after the bowling to give himself a chance at notching up a half-century too.

The left-hander was fortunate to be dropped at the long-on boundary with the fielder mistiming his jump and actually pushing the ball over the line for 6. After 30 overs, India were cruising at 141-3 with Jadeja needing 18 to get to a half-century while India needed 23 to win.

Jadeja got another reprieve when the umpire missed his attempted sweep catching the back of the bat on its way to slip, and the left-hander wasted little time in finishing off the match thereafter, depositing the final ball of the 34th over into the stands to wrap up the series 5-0.

Jadeja finished unbeaten on 48, and got some handy runs under his belt after a low key series with the bat.

Despite the series win, India will be a little disappointed that they weren't tested more by the Zimbabweans, and one can question whether the African side merit being in the top echelon of the sport, or should they drop a division so that they compete more regularly with sides like Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands to up the quality of their play.

Mini Scorecard:

Zimbabwe 163 all out (39.5 overs, 4.09rpo)

S Williams 51 (65) A Mishra 6-48

H Masakadza 32 (46) J Unadkt 1-8

India 167-3 (34 overs, 4.91rpo)

A Rahane 50 (66) K Jarvis 2-18

R Jadeja 48* (77) M Waller 1-18

India win by 7 wickets