Millennium Post

Unstoppable India maintain clean slate

Unstoppable India maintain clean slate
Suresh Raina hit a rollicking century as India recovered from a top-order collapse to prevail over minnows Zimbabwe by six wickets, finishing their group league engagements with a clean slate in the World Cup on Saturday.

Riding on Raina’s brilliant unbeaten 110 and an equally important 85 by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India overhauled commendable target of 288 in 48.4 overs, recording their highest run chase in a WC match.

India were in a spot of bother at 92 for four when skipper Dhoni joined Raina as the duo sealed the match with a defining unbeaten 196-run record stand for the fifth wicket off 156 balls. Raina, who scored his fifth ODI ton had nine fours and four sixes, in his innings.

There were the customary muscular heaves over deep mid-wicket region for sixes as were the delicate late cuts. While the first 50 came off 67 balls, the next one took only 27 deliveries as the UP left-hander suddenly put his foot on the accelerator. The only blemish in his innings was a mistimed sweep off Sikandar Raza that was dropped by Hamilton Masakadza at short fine leg when he was on 47. Dhoni again played the role of anchor to perfection pacing his innings with precision hitting eight boundaries and two sixes in 76 balls en route his 57th ODI half-century.

It was a disastrous start for India as openers Rohit Sharma (16) and Shikhar Dhawan (4) went cheaply while Virat Kohli (34) frittered away a good start, so did Ajinkya Rahane (19) as Zimbabwe did try their best to push India hard. But the experienced pair of Dhoni and Raina has seen India through in many such situations in the past and the opposition bowling didn’t have the quality to keep a check on them for long as the inevitable happened. Earlier, Brendan Taylor played the innings of his life in his final ODI for Zimbabwe as his 138 helped the team manage 287 all out in 48.5 overs.

The total was highest by any country against India in the current edition surpassing Ireland’s 259 in the previous game. Taking the Indian bowlers by the sword after being put into bat, Taylor smashed the white ball around the small Eden Park ground, cracking 15 boundaries and five sixes in his 110-ball stay. Taylor scored his century in 99 deliveries. It was his eighth ODI century and highest by any Zimbabwean and also the first against India in this edition of the mega event.


Zimbabwe innings
CJ Chibhabha c Dhawan b Mohammed Shami 7, H Masakadza c †Dhoni b Yadav 2, SF Mire c Dhoni b MM Sharma 9, BRM Taylor*† c Dhawan b MM Sharma 138, SC Williams c & b Ashwin 50, CR Ervine c & b MM Sharma 27, Sikandar Raza b Mohammed Shami 28, RW Chakabva c RG Sharma b Yadav 10, T Panyangara c Yadav b Mohammed Shami 6, T Mupariwa not out 1, TL Chatara b Yadav 0; Extras (lb 2, w 7) 9; Total (all out; 48.5 overs) 287 Fall of wickets 1-11, 2-13, 3-33, 4-126, 5-235, 6-241, 7-276, 8-285, 9-286, 10-287 Bowling Mohammed Shami 9-2-48-3, UT Yadav 9.5-1-43-3, M Sharma 10-1-48-3,  R Ashwin 10-0-75-1, RA Jadeja 10-0-71-0

India innings
RG Sharma c Sikandar Raza b Panyangara 16, S Dhawan b Panyangara 4, V Kohli b Sikandar Raza 38, AM Rahane run out (Sikandar Raza/†Taylor) 19, SK Raina    not out 110, MS Dhoni*† not out 85; Extras (b 1, lb 2, w 12, nb 1) 16 Total (4 wickets; 48.4 overs) 288 FoW 1-21, 2-21, 3-71, 4-92 Bowling T Panyangara 8.4-1-53-2, TL Chatara 10-1-59-0, T Mupariwa 10-0-61-0, SF Mire 5-0-29-0, SC Williams 5-0-31-0,  Sikandar Raza 8-0-37-1, H Masakadza 2-0-15-0

Dhoni’s team betters Lloyd’s outfit with 10th straight WC win

With 10 successive World Cup wins under their belt, MS Dhoni’s India on Saturday bettered Clive Lloyd’s fearsome outfit of the late 1970’ and 80’ in terms of consecutive victories in the quadrennial extravaganza. Lloyd’s team, which triumphed in the inaugural 1975 and 1979 World Cups, had nine wins in its kitty. Dhoni’s men surpassed them with their six-wicket result against Zimbabwe on Saturday. Now, the Men in Blue stand only second to Ricky Ponting’s Australian side that registered a staggering 24 consecutive victories in the showpiece event. Dhoni is also credited with most wins (13) by an Indian captain in the World Cups. He has overtaken 1983 World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev (11), Mohammed Azharuddin (10) and Sourav Ganguly (9).
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