Harare: Kedar Jadhav and Indian bowlers put up their hand as India edged past Zimbabwe by three runs in the third T20 of the series and clinched the series 2-1 in Harare on Wednesday.
While Maruma's heroics brought the hometeam close to a series win, MS Dhoni-led unit manage to hold their nerve.
Put in to bat first on a slow track, India manage to score 138 thanks to a gritty fifty from Kedar Jadhav. Zimbabwe, who looked favourites to win the game after when Sibanda was batting, lost track as Indian bowlers broke partnerships when it mattered the most.
Batting first, MS Dhoni-led unit lost wickets at regular intervals to allow hosts tighten the grip on the game. Had it not been for Jadhav, who held together India's innings, the visitors would have failed to cross 130-run mark.
While Jadhav was dogged in his approach, other Indian batsmen refused to adjust their game according to the condition of the pitch.
Zimbabwe- 135/6, Chigumbura 16, Maruma 23
20th over: India manage to edge past Zimbabwe and win third T20 by 3 runs. Zimbabwe, who needed 21 runs in the final over, scored 18 to give India a scare. But Barinder Sran eventually held his nerve.
Zimbabwe- 118/5, Chigumbura 11, Maruma 12
19th over: Maruma hits a lusty blow to keep under pressure. But Bumrah makes sure he does not offer more freebies.
Zimbabwe- 107/5, Chigumbura 11, Maruma 2
18th over: Top over under pressure from Dhawal. Just three runs from it. More importantly, he manages to dismiss Waller.
Zimbabwe- 104/4, Waller 10, Chigumbura 11
17th over: Chigumbura manages to hit last ball of Bumrah's over for four. Zimbabwe need 35 runs in 3 overs to win this game.
Zimbabwe- 97/4, Waller 8, Chigumbura 6
16th over: India need wickets, Zimbabwe need the duo to bat them to series win.
Zimbabwe- 91/4, Waller 6, Chigumbura 2
15th over: Bumrah is back into the attack and starts with a three-run over.
Zimbabwe- 88/4, Waller 5, Chigumbura 0
14th over: Chahal gives away 14 runs in his final over. But just when Moor looked to take the game away from India, Indian leggie dismissed him.
Zimbabwe- 74/3, Moor 14, Waller 3
13th over: Axar Patel is back into the attack and he gives away just three runs.
Zimbabwe- 71/3, Moor 12, Waller 2
12th over: Moor releases some pressure with a six off Chahal's over. The hometeam needed it.
Zimbabwe- 62/3, Moor 4, Waller 1
11th over: Dhawal Kulkarni has struck and dangerous Sibanda is back in the dressing room. Top move from Dhoni to bring back Kulkarni who had earlier given 18 runs in his first two overs.
Zimbabwe- 59/2, Sibanda 28, Moor 2
10th over: Tight over from Chahal. Just a run from it. More importantly, Sibanda has been kept away from strike.
Zimbabwe- 58/2, Sibanda 28, Moor 1
9th over: Axar Patel provides India with a much needed breakthrough. Masakadza, who had his share of troubles with sweep shot, fails once again playing it and gets trapped before the wicket.
Zimbabwe- 51/1, Masakadza 10, Sibanda 27
8th over: Chahal concedes 8 runs in his first over. India just can't afford this.
Zimbabwe- 43/1, Masakadza 8, Sibanda 21
7th over: Axar Patel bowls a tight over. But India need wickets, a series of them in fact.
Zimbabwe- 40/1, Masakadza 7, Sibanda 20
6th over: Bumrah has straightway posed some questions but Masakadza manages to prolong his stay in the middle.
Zimbabwe- 38/1, Masakadza 6, Sibanda 19
5th over: Sibanda continues to deal in boundaries. Zimbabwe are on a roll.
Zimbabwe- 32/1, Masakadza 5, Sibanda 14
4th over: Sibanda is on a roll as he slams three consecutive fours off Kulkarni. Jadhav had a chance to catch one and send the Zimbabwean packing but he made a mess of an opportunity before hobbling back to the dressing room.
Zimbabwe- 19/1, Masakadza 5, Sibanda 1
3rd over: Sran has given India their first breakthrough. Chibhabha could not keep down the ground and Chahal, who was stationed at mid-wicket, took an easy catch.
Zimbabwe- 11/0, Chibhabha 5, Masakadza 0
2nd over: Dhawal Kulkarni has conceded 10 runs in his first over. Not the start Dhoni would have wanted.
Zimbabwe- 1/0, Chibhabha 0, Masakadza 0
1st over: Barinder Sran has taken off from where he left in the last game. Swing, pace and bounce.
India- 138/6, Axar Patel 20, Dhawal Kulkarni 1
20th over: Has Zimbabwe given it away in the final over? India manage to score 16 runs in the last over to put up 138 runs on the board. On a slow track, this could be a tricky total to chase down.
India 122/6, Axar Patel 6, Dhawal Kulkarni
19th over: Kedar Jadhav departs after scoring a gritty half-century.
India 111/5, Kedar Jadhav 51, Axar Patel 2
18th over: Kedar Jadhav has made a move. 2 fours, a six and he crosses 50-run mark. If India win this game, credit must be given to Jadhav's gritty half-century.
India- 95/5, Kedar Jadhav 36, Axar Patel
17th over: Tiripano has hurt India's chances to score at least 120 runs after dismissing MS Dhoni. India, on a slow surface, are in huge trouble to say the least.
India- 93/4, Kedar Jadhav 35, MS Dhoni 9
16th over: Zimbabwe continue to trouble India. Just six runs from Madziva's over.
India- 87/4, Kedar Jadhav 31, Dhoni 8
15th over: Chatara bowls an excellent over. Just two runs from it. Can Zimbabwe keep up the good work and not allow India cross 120-run mark?
India- 85/4, Kedar Jadhav 30, Dhoni 7
14th over: MS Dhoni will have to bat till the end if India are eyeing to put up a respectable total on the board.
India- 78/4, Kedar Jadhav 29 , Dhoni 2
13th over: Rayudu's patience has run out. Cremer has struck in his last over as Rayudu offers an easy catch to Chigumbura who was stationed at long-on.
India- 69/3, Ambati Rayudu 20, Kedar Jadhav 22
12th over: Chibhabha gets punished as Rayudu slams him for four.
India- 61/3, Ambati Rayudu 13, Kedar Jadhav 21
11th over: Jadhav continues to play his shots. Zimbabwe, after being tight in the field, are making some mistakes. India must cash in.
India- 53/3, Ambati Rayudu 10, Kedar Jadhav 16
10th over: Chibhabha bowls a tight over. Just 4 runs from it. India need to up the ante.
India- 49/3, Ambati Rayudu 7, Kedar Jadhav 15
9th over: Ten runs off Cremer’s second over as Jadhav opens his shoulders to hit two fours.
India- 39/3, Ambati Rayudu 6, Kedar Jadhav 6
8th over: Rayudu and Jadhav are dealing in singles. No fancy shots for now.
India- 34/3, Ambati Rayudu 4, Kedar Jadhav 4
7th over: Zimbabwe skipper and leg-spinner Graeme Cremer into the attack. 5 runs in that over.
India- 29/3, Ambati Rayudu 2, Kedar Jadhav 1
6th over: No damage done but Rayudu and Jadhav need to bat long to help India score big.
India- 27/3, Ambati Rayudu 1, Kedar Jadhav 0
5th over: Zimbabwe have derailed Indian innings with twin strikes. First, Madziva disturbed the timber to send KL Rahul packing and then Elton Chigumbura's brilliance in the field ended Manish Pandey's stay in the middle.
India- 23/1, KL Rahul 18, Ambati Rayudu 1
4th over: Tiripano strikes. Mandeep Singh hit one in the air but failed to time it to perfection and Maruma took a fine catch to give Zimbabwe their first wicket.
India- 20/0, KL Rahul 16, Mandeep Singh 4
3rd over: KL Rahul has opened his shoulders and how! Sixteen runs in the over including two fours and a six
India - 4/0, KL Rahul 1, Mandeep 3
2nd over: Little edgy but Mandeep opens his account. India though are far from flying start.
India - 0/0, KL Rahul 0, Mandeep Singh 0
1st over : Tendai Chatara bowls a maiden. No trouble for KL Rahul but India could not open the account.
Harare: Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer has won the toss and elected to field in the third and final T20 of the series against India in Harare on Wednesday.
India have made no changes to the side that won the second T20 while Zimbabwe have brought in Sibanda, Chatara and Maruma in place of Mutombodzi, Raza and Muzarabani.
IND XI: L Rahul, M Singh, A Rayudu, M Pandey, K Jadhav, MS Dhoni, A Patel, D Kulkarni, J Bumrah, B Sran, Y Chahal— BCCI (@BCCI) June 22, 2016
ZIM XI: C Chibhabha, H Masakadza, P Moor, V Sibanda, T Maruma, M Waller, E Chigumbura, G Cremer, N Madziva, D Tiripano, T Chatara— BCCI (@BCCI) June 22, 2016
After crushing Zimbabwe in second T20 following a defeat in the first game of the three-match series, India will look to finish the tour with a win in the final T20.
MS Dhoni-led unit was stunned after the hometeam held their nerve to seal a two-run win in the first T20. However, Barinder Sran and Jasprit Bumrah demolished Zimbabwe before KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh 100-run partnership powered India to a series-levelling win in the second game.
While Graeme Cremer’s side will be keen to spoil visitors’ party, the new-look Indian side are favourites to cross the finish line.