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India win Test series against Zim 2-0

This is India's first Test series triumph overseas since 1986, when Kapil's side defeated England 2-0. Pathan was the Man of the Series.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2005 15:39 IST

India, inspired by Irfan Pathan’s match haul of 12-126, hammered Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the second and final Test at Harare Sports Club on Thursday to win the series 2-0.

This was India’s first Test series victory outside Asia since 1986, when they beat England in England 2-0. Given that the opposition was weak, though, few would read much into the win.

In losing, a hopelessly outclassed Zimbabwean outfit could at least take some pleasure in breaking a sequence of five innings defeats in succession on home soil.

Set to make 205 runs for this purpose, Zimbabwe made 223 in their second knock, leaving India 19 runs to get to seal victory, which they did in 2.2 overs.

“I’m naturally pleased to win the series, but the ODI series (won here by New Zealand) was a disappointment,” said Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.

Pathan was named both man of the match and the series after his record-equalling haul of 21 wickets in the two Tests.

The previous 21-wicket takers in a two-test series were Anil Kumble against Pakistan in 1999, and Johnny Briggs for England against South Africa in 1889.

“It’s good to know about the record,” said Pathan, who took three five-wicket hauls, only missing out on a fourth when he took four in Zimbabwe’s second innings at Bulawayo last week.

“I’m just pleased to be playing my best cricket at the moment,” he said. “My bowling has come on so well recently. It has been a wonderful series for me.

All-rounder Andy Blignaut at least provided the home support with something to cheer about, blasting a breezy 84 not out off 93 balls after coming to the crease with Zimbabwe at 85-6.

Blignaut survived five dropped catches during his innings, while he put on 116 invaluable runs for the seventh wicket with Hamilton Mazakadsa.

From a starting point of 39-4 overnight Zimbabwe’s task was ominous and when Heath Streak edged Zaheer Khan to slip during the second over of the morning, the writing seemed to be on the wall. India needed only seven of the 12 available sessions to beat Zimbabwe. Opener Virendra Sehwag promptly thumped three boundaries to complete the formalities.

SCORECARD

Zimbabwe 1st innings: 161 (Pathan 7-59)

India 1st innings: 366 (Dravid 98, Gambhir 97; Streak 6-73)

Zimbabwe 2nd innings: (Overnight: 39-4)
B. Taylor lbw b Pathan 4
T. Duffin c Dravid b Pathan 10
D. Ebrahim c Y. Singh b Khan 3
H. Masakadza lbw b Pathan 71
T. Taibu c Kumble b Khan 1
H. Streak c Laxman b Khan 8
C. Coventry c Ganguly b Pathan 25
A. Blignaut not out 84
K. Dabengwa c Karthik b Pathan 0
B. Mahwire lbw b Kumble 0
W. Mwayanenga lbw b Khan 1

Extras: 16(b-5 lb-6 nb-3 w-2)

Total: 223 all out in 55 overs

Fall of wickets:
1-13 2-18 3-18 4-21 5-42 6-85 7-201 8-201 9-202 10-223

Bowling

I Pathan: 19 - 3 - 67 - 5
Z Khan: 19 - 4 - 58 - 4
H Singh: 5 - 0 - 27 - 0
Kumble: 11 - 3 - 52 - 1
Ganguly: 1 - 0 - 8 - 0

India 2nd innings (Target: 19 runs)

G. Gambhir not out 1
V. Sehwag not out 14
Extras (b-4) 4

Total: 19/0 (2.2 overs)

Bowling
Blignaut: 1.2 - 0 - 6 - 0
Mahwire: 1 - 0 - 9 - 0

Result:India won Second Test by 10 wickets and Series 2-0

First Published: Dec 27, 2005 18:17 IST