Indians home in for another one-day win
INDIA continued their winning home season yesterday, beating Zimbabwe by seven wickets in the rain-shortened second one-day international in Guwahati.
The Indians swept past Zimbabwe's 149 for six in 28 overs with three deliveries to spare in a contest delayed by three hours due to bad weather.
The win gave them a decisive 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
The third and final one-day match will be played in Pune on Thursday, ending a brilliant home season for the Indians in which they trounced England 3-0 in their Test series and overwhelmed minnows Zimbabwe by an innings in a one-off Test.
Zimbabwe opener Grant Flower's stylish 57 was in vain as the Indians, led by Manoj Prabhakar's 52, overcame fading light to achieve their moderate target of 5.3 runs per over.
The only time the Zimbabweans looked like making a match of it was when some superb defence left India needing 16 runs from the final 12 deliveries.
But the Indians hit 13 runs in the penultimate over bowled by left-arm seamer David Brain, including a six over mid-wicket by skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, to seal the visitors' fate.
Azharuddin pulled the third ball of Grant Flower's final over for the winning single.
Prabhakar shared two useful stands - 66 for the first wicket with Navjot Sidhu and 56 for the second with Vinod Kambli - to consolidate India's position.
Prabhakar went in the 24th over, caught off Eddo Brandes, and Kambli was bowled by Grant Flower two overs later.
Electing to bat first, Zimbabwe got off to a quick start as the Flower brothers, Grant and Andy, put on 56 for the first wicket by the 13th over.
Left-hander Andy top-edged a pull off seamer Salil Ankola after making 26, but brother Grant kept the run rate up until he pulled leg-spinner Anil Kumble to midwicket in the 22nd over.
Zimbabwe, who looked to be heading for a big score at 137 for two from 25 overs, lost four wickets for the addition of only 12 runs as the batsmen began hitting out.
A dejected and exhausted England team arrived home from their disastrous three-month tour of India and Sri Lanka still plagued by problems.
After suffering a string of Test and one-day international defeats, there was more frustration for the players when their plane was four hours late due to technical problems.