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3rd T20I: Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar shine as India beat Zimbabwe for 2-1 series lead

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NEW DELHI: Skipper Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad delivered top knocks before bowlers put up an all-round show as India registered a comfortable 23-run win over Zimbabwe in the third T20I in Harare on Wednesday.

Gill (66 off 49), Yashasvi Jaiswal (36 off 27), and Gaikwad (49 off 28) powered India to 182 for four after opting to bat first.

Despite a resilient half-century from Dion Myers (65* off 49), Zimbabwe finished at 159 for six as India gained a 2-1 lead in the five-game series.



Opting to bat on a fresh pitch, India made strategic selections, bringing in T20 World Cup winners Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (12* off 7), and Shivam Dube, which meant leaving out Riyan Parag from the middle order.

As It Happened

The opening combination of Jaiswal and Gill set an aggressive tone, contributing significantly to the team's strong start. Jaiswal, making his presence felt after not playing in the T20 World Cup, launched his innings with a couple of fours and a six in the opening over.



Gill continued the momentum with a stylish on-drive and a six over fine-leg off the bowling of Richard Ngarava. Despite a promising start, India’s scoring rate slowed, with the team accumulating 55 runs in the powerplay without losing a wicket. Zimbabwe’s fielding was subpar, resulting in extra runs and dropped catches.

Zimbabwe skipper Sikandar Raza momentarily shifted the tide, dismissing Jaiswal with a reverse sweep catch at backward point and Abhishek Sharma, who was caught in the deep. Gaikwad, batting in an unusual position, showed his prowess by accumulating boundaries and sixes, finishing with four boundaries and three sixes to his name.

After India set a target of 182, Zimbabwe’s chase began with Avesh Khan removing opener Wessly Madhevere early. The home team’s struggle continued as they lost five wickets for just 39 runs. The partnership between Myers and Clive Madande (37 off 26) brought some stability, adding 77 runs off 57 balls.

Washington Sundar , expected to play a more significant role post the retirement of Ravindra Jadeja, made a notable impact, taking three wickets. Additionally, Avesh Khan’s two wickets were crucial in curtailing Zimbabwe’s chase.

After Avesh bounced out opener Wessly Madhevere in the second over, the wickets them kept falling for the home team.

However, Zimbabwe did well to stead the ship after losing their first five wickets for 39 runs. The 77-run stand off 57 balls between Myers and Clive Madande (37 off 26) put much needed life into the game.

Blessing Muzarabani (2/25) stood out as Zimbabwe’s best bowler, extracting extra bounce from his deliveries. However, that too was not enough to restrict an in-form Indian batting lineup.

The next match in this five-match series is scheduled for Saturday, July 13. India’s recent victories have seen them recover the momentum after losing the series opener.
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