Sikandar Raza’s century went in vain as India beat Zimbabwe by 13 runs in the third ODI to complete a 3-0 whitewash at Harare Sports Club on Monday. Raza continued his purple patch with the bat while chasing and scored a sensational 115 runs but it wasn’t enough for Zimbabwe to get a consolation win in the final match of the series while chasing 290.
Raza shared a crucial 104-run stand for the eighth wicket with Brad Evans (28) to revive Zimbabwe’s chase as they were 169/7 at one stage but the duo’s effort helped them take the game closer which tested the Indian bowlers.
Chasing the 290-run target, Zimbabwe lost their openers Innocent Kaia (6) and Takudzwanashe Kaitano (13) cheaply. However, Sean Williams scored 45 runs off 46 balls to revive their chase, however, the host kept losing wickets at regular intervals which didn’t allow them to put pressure on India. The partnership between Raza and Evans shifted the momentum a bit in Zimbabwe’s favour a bit. Avesh Khan dismissed Evans on the last ball of the 48th over to pull India back in the game.
While Shardul Thakur did an exemplary job in the penultimate over by giving just 2 runs and he also took the crucial wicket of Raza as Shubman Gill took a sensational job to end a glorious innings. Raza’s 94-ball stay was laced with 9 fours and three sixes. It was the first time when Raza scored an ODI century while chasing and ended up on losing side.
In the final over, Avesh was asked to defend 15 runs and he got the job done in three balls by dismissing Victor Nyauchi.
Indian spinners Axar Patel (2/30) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/38) were quite economical during their spells, while Avesh claimed three wickets.
Earlier, Shubman Gill made his first international hundred as India posted 289-8 on the scoreboard after 50 overs. The 22-year-old was all class and scored 130 runs which was laced with 15 fours and a six.
The 22-year-old looked in control and hit his century in 82 balls, while he continued to play some attacking shots after breaching the mark but he didn’t get much support from the other end.
Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan (50), Shikhar Dhawan (40) and captain KL Rahul (30) also contributed with the bat.
Brad Evans was the standout performer with the ball for the hosts as he claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs.
India: 289/8 in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 130, Ishan Kishan 50; Brad Evans 5/54).
Zimbabwe: 276 all out in 49.3 overs (Sikandar Raza 115, Sean Williams 45; Kuldeep Yadav 2/38, Axar Patel 2/30, Avesh Khan 3/66).