Ravindra Jadeja's 51 was the only face-saving performance in an otherwise spineless batting display as India managed a meagre 194 for nine against Zimbabwe in a tri-series one-dayer in Harare today.
Put into bat, India failed to recover from a slow start and lost wickets at regular intervals to end their innings below the 200-run mark at the Harare Sports Club. Jadeja scored his second half century of the tournament to prop up the innings after a disciplined Zimbabwean attack reduced India to 127 for seven in the 37th over.
The left-hander stitched a crucial 48-run eighth wicket stand with Ashok Dinda (16) and hit three fours and two sixes during his 72-ball knock. Off-spinner Greg Lamb was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers with figures of three for 45 from his 10 overs, while Raymond Price, captain Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer and Andrew Blignaut chipped in with a wicket apiece.
The visiting openers Dinesh Karthik (33 off 47) and Murali Vijay (21 off 56) found the going tough and India could reach their fifty in the 15th over. Finding it difficult to score runs with conventional shots against the Zimbabwean spinners, Karthik went for a reverse sweep off Lamb only to top-edge a dolly to wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu. Vijay's struggle also came to an end an over later with Lamb outwitting the right-hander with a drifter, which found the edge of his bat and went straight onto Taibu's safe hands.
Back-to-back centurion Rohit Sharma (13) and skipper Suresh Raina (3) fell prey to Zimbabweans' sharp fielding while Virat Kohli (18) fell to a soft dismissal and Yusuf Pathan (15) was caught plumb in front of the wicket by Price. Jadeja and Dinda, however, batted sensibly and gave some respectability to the Indian innings with a 48-run partnership. The duo played cautiously and mixed one and twos with occasional boundaries to give the Indian bowlers something to bowl at.