HARARE: Zimbabwe rose from the ashes of an embarrassing one-day series whitewash at the hands of India to stun the tourists in a thrilling Twenty20 international at Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe´s batting had been dismal in the ODIs, when they failed to score more than 168, but on Saturday they appeared to rediscover their joy for the game and posted 170 for six on the back of Elton Chigumbura´s unbeaten 54.
Manish Pandey led India´s reply with his 48, but Zimbabwe chipped away at the visitors to restrict them to 168 for six and win by two runs.
The second game in the three-match series takes place at the same venue on Monday.
With just six members of India’s 16-man squad boasting international experience in the shortest format, the tourists named five debutants for today’s game.
Batsmen KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh, allrounder Rishi Dhawan, and bowlers Jaydev Unadkat and Yuzvendra Chahal all made their Twenty20 international bows.
Zimbabwe were without Craig Ervine, Sean Williams and Vusi Sibanda due to injury. Allrounder Tinotenda Mutombodzi was recalled for his first Twenty20 international match in over three years, while Sikandar Raza Butt returned to the batting lineup after being dropped for the final ODI.
Zimbabwe: Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Sikandar Raza Butt, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, Richmond Mutumbami, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Graeme Cremer (capt), Neville Madziva, Tawanda Mupariwa, Donald Tiripano.
India: KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Axar Patel, Rishi Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal.