Abhishek scored his first century as India beat Zimbabwe to level the series 1-1

The Uncut


Harare. India levelled the five-match series 1-1 with a 100-run win over Zimbabwe in the second T20 International here on Sunday, thanks to a superb 100-run hundred by youngster Abhishek Sharma off 47 balls and a superb bowling performance.

Coming back from a 13-run defeat in the first match due to disappointing batting display, India posted a mammoth 234 for two after winning the toss and batting on Sunday with the help of Abhishek’s hundred comprising eight sixes and seven fours.
This is India’s highest score against Zimbabwe in T20 International, before this the highest score was 186 runs.

India then bowled out Zimbabwe for 134 runs in 18.4 overs with the brilliant bowling of Mukesh Kumar (3 wickets for 37 runs), Avesh Khan (3 wickets for 15 runs) and Ravi Bishnoi (2 wickets for 11 runs). India thus won by the biggest margin against Zimbabwe in T20.

For Zimbabwe, opener Wesley Madhevere scored 43 runs, Luke Jongwe scored 33 runs and Brian Bennett scored 26 runs. Apart from these, only Jonathan Campbell (10 runs), son of former Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell, reached double figures. Abhishek, who was out for zero in four balls during his debut in the last match, played sensibly and shared a 137-run partnership for the second wicket with Ruturaj Gaikwad (77 not out in 47 balls).

Apart from these two, Rinku Singh played an unbeaten innings of 48 runs in 22 balls with five sixes. Gaikwad and Rinku shared an unbeaten 87-run partnership for the third wicket. Wellington Masakadza and Blessing Mujarbani got one wicket each. Abhishek, the best player to hit sixes in the Indian Premier League (IPL), got a reprieve on 27 runs when Masakadza dropped his catch on Luke Jongwe’s ball. After this, this Indian batsman did not look back.

Abhishek opened his international run account by hitting a six off off-spinner Brian Bennett. He completed his half-century by hitting a six behind square off Dion Mayers. After 28 runs were scored in one over of Mayers, the Indian innings picked up a stormy pace. Abhishek’s six off the ball of rival captain Sikandar Raza was the most attractive. He hit three consecutive sixes off left-arm spinner Masakadza and then got out off his ball as soon as he completed his century. On returning to the dugout, he was congratulated by the captain and his friend Shubman Gill.

The best part of Abhishek’s innings was changing gears. India scored 74 runs for the loss of one wicket in the first 10 overs. Then in the next five overs, the team added 78 runs thanks to Yuvraj Singh’s disciple. Poor fielding also hurt Zimbabwe as they dropped Gaikwad’s catch. After this, Gaikwad and Rinku shared a 36-ball 87-run partnership. Zimbabwe did not have a good start while chasing the target as they lost wickets at regular intervals.

Mukesh and Avesh dismissed the Zimbabwean top order, causing Zimbabwe to lose four wickets in the powerplay.
Madhevere was standing firm at one end but wickets kept falling at the other end and only formality was left. Madhevere faced 39 balls and hit three fours and a six. He added 41 runs in 32 balls for the eighth wicket with Jongwe. Apart from this, no significant partnership was made. Spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who bowled brilliantly in the first match, took two wickets and Washington Sundar took one wicket.

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