3rd T20I: Shubman Gill’s 66, Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 49 carry India to 182/4 against Zimbabwe

Harare, July 10 (IANS) Captain Shubman Gill top-scored with a 49-ball 66, while Ruturaj Gaikwad hit a quick 28-ball 49 as the duo carried India to 182/4 in the third T20I against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club here on Wednesday.

On a two-paced pitch, India made four changes to their side, with T20 World Cup winners Shivam Dube, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Sanju Samson returning to the team. Jaiswal and Gill had a 67-run opening stand before Zimbabwe enforced a slowdown in the middle overs. Gill and Gaikwad joined forces for a 72-run stand from 44 balls for the third wicket, which ensured India got past 180. They were also helped by Zimbabwe’s fielding being absolutely sloppy and dropping multiple catches.

Electing to bat first, Jaiswal had India off to a flying start as Jaiswal was swivelling, dabbing, and heaving Brian Bennet for six and two fours in a 15-run opening over.

Gill got off the mark with a great flick off the wrists going for four against Richard Ngarava, before pulling and driving him for a six and four respectively, as the second over yielded 14 runs.

Runs continued to flow for India, especially with Zimbabwe’s fielding being pedestrian, as Jaiswal pulled Tendai Chatara for a four and six respectively, before Gill punched and got an outside edge off Blessing Muzarabani for two fours in the fourth over.

After India crossed 50 runs in 4.1 overs, Zimbabwe enforced a slowdown and nearly got Jaiswal out, but Marumani at sweeper cover failed to hold on to the chance off Chatara, which went for four. Jaiswal eventually fell for 36 in the ninth over when he shaped to play a reverse sweep off Sikandar Raza but ended up giving a catch to backward point.

Raza struck again when Abhishek Sharma heaved, but holed out to deep mid-wicket in the eleventh over. Gill stepped down the pitch twice to hit boundaries, before getting an outside edge on the cut off Chatara for four to get his fifty in 36 balls.

From the other end, Gaikwad cut loose by slamming a six and two fours in his first 10 balls. The duo hit a six each off Raza’s overpitched balls in the 17th over, before Gill mistimed a loft to mid-off against Muzarabani in the next over.

Gaikwad dispatched full tosses from Ngarava for boundaries, before holing out to deep cover in the final over. It took a last-ball boundary from Sanju Samson to take India past the 180-mark, as he remained unbeaten on 12.

Brief scores:

India 182/4 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 66, Ruturaj Gaikwad 49; Sikandar Raza 2-24, Blessing Muzarabani 2-25) against Zimbabwe



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