We didn’t bowl and field that well: MS Dhoni
by Ankit Editor
Published - Jun 18, 2016 3:19 pm | Updated - Jun 19, 2016 7:46 am
When India walked out to take on Zimbabwe in the first T20I at the Harare Sports Club in Harare it was expected to be another one-sided contest. The hosts failed to pose the slightest threat in the entire ODI series and there was no good reason to believe they could challenge the Indians this time round either.
At the end of 40 overs what transpired must have not only lifted the Zimbabwean spirits but also given the Indian team a message to not underestimate the opponents. Bringing in Jaydev Unadkat and Rishi Dhawan in for Dhawal Kulkarni and Brainder Sran didn’t work in their favor as both the bowlers went for plenty and that shifted the momentum against India.
Elton Chigumbura was expected to do well in the ODIs, but after failing to live up to the expectations in the 50-overs format, he got going exceptionally well today and scored a 26-ball 54 with 7 sixes and a four. It was his knock that got Zimbabwe to 170 and that in the end proved to be a winning total.
The chase for India begun on a poor note as they lost the most consistent batsman on tour KL Rahul on the very first ball of the inning. Mandeep Singh, Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav all got starts but could not carry on from there. Manish Pandey played a more mature knock and took calculated risk. Till the time he was batting in the middle with skipper MS Dhoni, things looked in the balance towards India. Pandey chose to play the wrong shot at a really crucial juncture and it cost India dearly. Though Axar Patel hit a few lusty blows towards the end, his wicket in the last over and MS Dhoni missing out on the big shot on the ultimate delivery resulted in a 2-run defeat for the visitors.
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In the post-match press conference Indian skipper MS Dhoni said: “Ultimately, it was a contest between bat and ball. It was all about execution, I thought the last ball was fantastic. We didn’t bowl and field that well either. Soft dismissals, some of the wickets we lost were catching practice. I feel this is a stage where most of them would feel the pressure, I hope they learn from it, it is a good learning curve, but there were mistakes from the batsmen. Not a lot to think about, we didn’t play our best XI. The Zimbabwe batsmen batted very well, but we didn’t bowl well either.”
The Zimbabwe captain was mighty pleased with the effort of his boys but also acknowledged the fact that it was a really close game and could have gone anywhere. Graeme Cremer said: “Excellent comeback from us, especially after the loss in the ODI series. There are two matches to go still, can’t take it easy. Chigumbura is a dangerous batsman, even when he isn’t in the best of forms. India are a quality team and we know they will come hard at us in the remaining two games.”
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Elton Chigumbura for his match-winning knock of 54 was awarded the Man of the Match. He said, “I thought it was a good effort from the whole team, everyone contributed, the last over from Madziva was excellent. This win gives us plenty of confidence, we will look to improve and come hard once again on Monday.”