Raina, Rohit Sharma ensure 9-wicket win for India
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AP) — Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma produced unbeaten half-centuries Thursday as India scored a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the fourth one-day international to take a 4-0 lead in the five-game series.
Raina scored 65 off 71 balls and Rohit Sharma 64 off 90 balls to guide India to 145-1 in 30.5 overs after the home side had been bowled out for 144 in 42.4 overs.
The Virat Kohli-led second-string Indian side dominated from start to finish. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra continued his fine run in the series taking 3-25, while debutant pace bowler Mohit Sharma gave a good account of himself with 2-26.
Resting five main players for this series, including regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India continued to experiment as it handed one-day debuts to Mohit Sharma and test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara.
Though the pace bowler struck a fine rhythm early on, Pujara could only make 13 before he was bowled off an inside edge by Tendai Chatara.
Pujara’s dismissal brought together Raina and Rohit Sharma, who started cautiously before exhibiting some fine shots either side of the wicket.
Raina struck six fours while Rohit Sharma smashed five fours and one six to make it quick toward the end.
For Zimbabwe, Elton Chigumbura made an unbeaten 50 and figured in an 80-run sixth-wicket stand with Malcolm Waller, who contributed 35.
But there was no other performance of note on either side of the stand. Zimbabwe struggled against new-ball bowlers Mohit Sharma and Mohammad Shami and could do no better against spinners Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja (2-28).
Opener Sikandar Raza, who had scored 82 in the first game of the series, was the first man out for seven in a team score of 16. The Pakistan-born batsman edged one to wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik to give Mohit Sharma his first international wicket.
Hamilton Masakadza was run out for 10 to a direct throw from point by Jadeja. Left-arm spinner Jadeja later trapped captain Brendan Taylor lbw for zero and also removed a well-set Vusi Sibanda as Zimbabwe slumped to 47-5 in the 16th over.
“There was something in the wicket and we tried to exploit that early on,” Kohli said. “Mohit was accurate from ball one and helped put pressure on the batsmen.”
Chigumbura and Waller rescued the Zimbabweans before Mohit Sharma induced an edge from Waller that was taken well by Karthik.
Mishra then ran through the lower order and the innings folded up in 42.4 overs.
India had won the first three games in Harare by six wickets, 58 runs and seven wickets. The last game of the series will be played in Bulawayo on Saturday.