Harare, August 22: India completed a 3-0 series sweep on Monday (August 22) after beating Zimbabwe by 13 runs in the third ODI here at the Harare Sports Club.
Once Shubman Gill scored his maiden ODI hundred to lead India to 289 for 8, the result seemed a foregone conclusion. Ishan Kishan supported him with a calculated even fifty.
Considering the tethering batting shows of Zimbabwe, India might have expected a romp but that was not the case on this day.
Zimbabwe will have to thanks Sikandar Raza, who made a belligerent hundred for himself, for making the match a lot more close than it actually could have been.
Raza and Brad Evans secured 100 runs for the 8th wicket stand that raised the visions of an unlikely win.
But Avesh Khan dismissed Evans and Shardul Thakur snapped the stay of Raza as Zimbabwe found the victory one too many shots away.
Earlier, a superb maiden hundred by batter Shubman Gill and a half-century by Ishan Kishan powered India to 289/8 at the end of their 50 overs during the third and final ODI against Zimbabwe at Harare.
The day was extremely memorable for the Indian batters as they smashed Zimbabwe all over the park, Gill (130) and Kishan (50) in particular.
Brad Evans (5/54) got his maiden five-wicket haul and all the big stars under his kitty, but there were not much positives for Zimbabwe other than that they could restrict India to a below-300 total. Electing to bat first, India was off to a solid start.
Openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan rotated the strike really well, going big only occasionally. Dhawan was more aggressive of two as he got some neat hit crossing the fence for a four.
Rahul focused mainly on strike rotation and giving himself some game time. At the end of 10 overs, India was at 41/0 with Dhawan (25 not out) and Rahul (12 not out) at the crease. Zimbabwe had a slight edge over India in the next ten overs as India's run-making was not really fast.
The duo crossed the fifty-run stand in 74 balls. The 63-run stand between the duo was broken after Brad Evans's delivery edged Rahul's bat and went shattering his stumps.
KL's stay ended in 45-ball 30 runs, with only one four and six, not exactly a stay he was hoping for. Shubman Gill was the next batter on the crease.
At the end of 20 overs, India was at 77/1 with Dhawan (39) and Gill (4) at the crease. Though Gill and Dhawan kept the scoreboard ticking for a while, their stand lasted only 21 runs.
Evans got his second wicket in the match as a leading edge off Dhawan's bat was caught by Sean Williams at the cover region. Dhawan was back in the hut after a 68-ball 40.
Ishan Kishan was next up on the crease. An amazing drive by Kishan on the first ball of the 25th over took India past the 100- run mark.
Gill and Kishan continued to pile up runs, bringing up their 50-run stand and reached the 150-run mark in 35 overs.
Gill was looking in fine touch and brought up his half-century in 51 balls, his fourth in ODIs. The duo also brought up their hundred-run stand in 99 balls.
The duo's assault did not end even after that as they kept scoring runs. Kishan brought up his second half-century in ODIs off 61 balls.
Ishan Kishan was run out in the 43rd over for 50 off 61 balls. The new batter Deepak Hooda was also dismissed for one of three balls by Evans, who struck for the third time in the innings.
Gill brought up his maiden hundred in 82 balls, good enough for India to notch up a tight win.
List of Awards
Player of the Match: Shubman Gill
Player of the Series: Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill, India batter: “I was just trying to minimise my dot ball percentage. I tried to hit the gaps as much as possible. When I went in, there were a couple of bowlers bowling good. It was crucial to get through that. Once we were settled, we knew we could attack. The bat was pretty good. That's why I changed it after my 50, I wanted to save it.
The hundred was definitely special. It feels great, great bunch of players. Feels good when you are with the same bunch. My father has been my primary coach. I got a schooling after I got out in the second ODI, so I dedicate this to him.”