India beats Zimbabwe

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Harare: Skipper Suresh Raina led from the front with a blistering 72 as India signed off their Zimbabwe tour with a comprehensive seven-wicket win over the hosts in the second and final Twenty20 International here Sunday. Chasing 141, India made 144 for three in 18 overs at the Harare Sports Club ground with Raina dispatching Chris Mpofu to boundary for the winning runs.

Tatenda Taibu earlier top-scored with 45 and shared a 43-run stand for the fourth wicket with Charles Coventry (28 off 13) to steer Zimbabwe to 140 for five. Raina stepped on to the field after the fall of Naman Ojha (10) in fifth over and stayed till the job was done. Along with Murali Vijay (46), Raina shared a 79-run stand for the second wicket, which set up the second comfortable Indian win in as many days. Raina’s 44-ball knock had six fours and two sixes in it.

After an ordinary show in the three-week tour, Vijay finally got some runs under his belt and the Chennai batsman would be relived after playing a good hand in the Indian win. Vijay and skipper Suresh Raina batted with ease and were hardly troubled by the host bowlers.Vijay missed out on his half-century when he attempted a big shot but off Chamu Chibhabha and his checked shot landed in the hands of Graeme Cremer in the 15th over. Raina continued the good work and carried the team home just after losing another partner in Yusuf Pathan (4). India’s consecutive win, after a lacklustre show in the ODI tri-series, would do a world of good to the confidence of its youngsters just ahead of the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

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