3rd T20I: Washington takes 3-15 as India beat Zimbabwe by 23 runs; go 2-1 up in series

Harare: Off-spin all-rounder Washington Sundar was at his frugal best and smart in lengths to pick 3-15 as India survived a fighting effort from Dion Myers to beat Zimbabwe by 23 runs in the third T20I and take a 2-1 series lead at the Harare Sports Club here on Wednesday.

On a two-paced pitch, captain Shubman Gill top-scored with a 49-ball 66, while Ruturaj Gaikwad hit a quick 28-ball 49 as the duo carried India to 182/4 in 20 overs. In reply, Zimbabwe were reduced to 39/5, before Myers and Clive Madande had a 77-run sixth-wicket stand to keep Zimbabwe in the hunt.

Myers went on to be unbeaten on 65 off 49 balls, but it ended in vain as Zimbabwe could only make 159/6 in 20 overs, with the hosts going to rue their poor fielding performance playing a part in India posting a challenging total. Apart from Sundar’s three-fer, Avesh Khan picked 2-39, while Khaleel Ahmed was excellent in his 1-15.

India have early success in their defence of 182 as Avesh had Wesley Madhevere cut tamely to short cover. Khaleel struck when Tadiwanashe Marumani looked to hit on the up but mistimed to mid-on. Brian Bennett went for a cut off Avesh, but Ravi Bishnoi timed his jump well to complete a stunning catch at backward point.

Sikandar Raza tried to fight back by hitting three boundaries, but Washington had him slow-sweeping to deep mid-wicket in the seventh over. The off-spinner struck again in the same over by enticing Johnathan Campbell to drive and the outside edge was snapped by first slip.

Madande and Myers feasted on width and friendly lengths from part-timers Abhishek Sharma and Shivam Dube, as well as off Bishnoi to hit nine boundaries in their scintillating 77-run stand for the sixth wicket. Washington came back to break the partnership by floating a wide delivery, for which Madande tried to move across and slog-sweep but holed out to deep mid-wicket.

Myers went on to get his maiden T20I fifty by clearing his front leg and tonking Bishnoi for six. He and Wellington Masakadza hit some boundaries in the final over off Avesh yielding 18 runs, but the late flourish wasn’t enough for Zimbabwe to avoid a defeat to India.

Brief scores:

India 182/4 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 66, Ruturaj Gaikwad 49; Sikandar Raza 2-24, Blessing Muzarabani 2-25) beat Zimbabwe 159/6 in 20 overs (Dion Myers 65 not out, Clive Madande 37; Washington Sundar 3-15, Avesh Khan 2-39) by 23 runs


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