Zimbabwe beat India by six wickets

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwe overhauled India by six wickets with 10 balls to spare to give the tri-nations one-day series with Sri Lanka a surprising opening on Friday.

Zimbabwe served notice it won't just be the amiable host for the pair of former World Cup champions, by overhauling India's impressive 285-5 with the second highest successful chase in its history.

Opener Brendan Taylor put Zimbabwe on course with 81, and Craig Ervine, on debut, helped to finish the chase on 289-4 with 67 not out.

Captain Elton Chigumbura hit the winning runs with his fourth boundary in an unbeaten 24 from 16 balls. He and Ervine shared a match-winning partnership of 58.

"Hami (Masakadza) and BT (Brendan Taylor) put us on top with their first-wicket partnership," Chigumbura said.

"It was also good to see Craig score a half century on his debut. The guys did well. The main focus now is to be consistent and we are working on that at the moment."

Earlier, Rohit Sharma hit 114 for his maiden ODI century while Ravindra Jadeja added an unbeaten 61 for India.

Sharma's fluent innings comprised six fours and four sixes off 119 balls. He mainly savaged short-pitched deliveries, in particular opening bowler Chris Mpofu.

"They batted really well, to be honest," India captain Suresh Raina said of Zimbabwe. "They deserved to win. Rohit batted really well for us and we are already looking forward to an improved performance against Sri Lanka on Sunday."

The bedrock of India's innings was a dominant fifth-wicket stand between Sharma and Jadeja of 61 off 61 balls.

Sharma fell in the 48th over when he skied a Mpofu delivery for wicketkeeper Taylor to take a difficult high catch.

India got off to a flying start at Queens Sports Club, aided by wayward bowling from Zimbabwe opening bowler and new captain Chigumbura, who struggled for rhythm in his first two overs. Taking the new ball with Mpofu, Chigumbura bowled far too short and wide. He went for 26 runs in his second over to eventually concede 36 from the pair.

But Zimbabwe stemmed the run flow with two quick wickets.

The first breakthrough was on the last ball of the ninth over after former captain Prosper Utseya's sharp flicked to Taylor helped to run out opener Viyay Murali for 11.

Chigumbura made amends three balls later when he directly ran out Virat Kohli for a duck with a diving throw from second slip.

Opener Dinesh Karthik added 22 runs off 39 balls before edging Utseya behind.

Sharma and Raina then paired for 67 runs off 105 balls for the fourth wicket before Raina fetched a wide Mpofu delivery and edged to Taylor. He went for 37 runs off 53 balls.

Zimbabwe's chase started brightly with openers Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza waiting patiently for the bad balls and running hard between the wickets.

Man-of-the-match Taylor exited after he was caught on the boundary by Umesh Yadav off Vinay Kumar in the 35th over.

Masakadza was first to go, though, on 46 after being bowled by Amit Mishra.

Greg Lamb was trapped lbw by Ravindra Jadeja after adding 27 runs. Charles Coventry scored briskly, hitting 32 off 25 balls until he was bowled by Vijay, leaving Ervine and Chigumbura to finish off.

Brief Scores:

Zimbabwe 289-4 (Brendan Taylor 81, Craig Ervine 67 not out, Hamilton Masakadza 46, Charles Coventry 32).

India 285-5 (Rohit Sharma 114, Ravindra Jadeja 61 not out, Suresh Raina 37)


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