Zim vs Ind: Sikander Raza’s bravely innings is in vain as India wraps up a 3-0 sweep

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With a brilliant century, Sikandar Raza nearly gave Zimbabwe its first ODI victory over India in more than 12 years, but the hosts ultimately fell 13 runs short in a gripping contest

Zim vs Ind: Sikander Raza's bravely innings is in vain as India wraps up a 3-0 sweep
Source: NDTV Sports

Sikandar Raza’s valiant performance put Zimbabwe on the verge of a historic triumph, but India kept their composure to win the third one-day international by 13 runs and claim the series on Monday.

The series’ final game also appeared to be going India’s way until Brad Evans and Raza (115 off 95 balls) helped Zimbabwe get back in the game (28 off 36).

In order to increase the likelihood of a remarkable outcome against their formidable opponents, the pair shared a 104-run stand of 77 balls for the eighth wicket. However, India barely prevailed as Raza was caught by Shubman Gill in the penultimate over.

The game had been set up by Gill, who scored his first hundred in international cricket to get India to 289 for eight. After 49.3 overs, Zimbabwe’s innings was over at 276.

After the visitors elected to bat for the first time in the series, Gill (130 off 97 balls), who accomplished a significant career milestone more than three years after making his India debut, and Ishan Kishan (50 off 61) combined for a 140-run partnership.

Early in the Zimbabwe chase, Sean Williams (45 off 46) and Raza made some audacious swings.

With the new ball, Deepak Chahar once more impressed, and left-arm spinner Axar Patel picked up some much-needed wickets in the middle overs.

Innocent Kaia (6) was caught while charging down the wicket by Chahar’s thunderous inswinger, giving him his first wicket. The Indians attempted a review that was successful because they believed that the complete ball had struck the pad first.

Although Zimbabwe continued to lose wickets often, the experienced Raza held firm till reaching his third hundred in the last six innings.

With Raza and Evans creating chances at will, the Indian bowlers were found wanting. The hosts ultimately came up agonizingly short.

Both of the seasoned openers, KL Rahul (30 off 46) and Shikhar Dhawan (40 off 68), will be dissatisfied with their inability to capitalize on their initial opportunities.

Rahul got the perfect opportunity to regain his rhythm before the Asia Cup T20 after a lengthy injury layoff. Brad Evans, a medium pacer, delivered a length ball, and he played on to it. Evans ended up capturing five wickets, a first for him.

Gill, who made his ODI comeback during the series against the West Indies, was visually appealing throughout his 15 four-and-a-six-ball innings. The 22-year-old played various types of strokes, but his cover drives and straight drives stood out. Prior to reaching a milestone in the 1990s, Gill experienced some nervousness.

Evans asked for a close leg-before-swing call, but the DRS was denied after UltraEdge revealed that the ball made contact with Gill’s bat before striking the pads. Gill was concerned with the appeal when Kishan was run out at the other end on the same ball after leaving his crease for a fast single.

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