By BV Swagath
Team India picked up yet another easy win over minnows Zimbabwe to complete a 5-0 cleansweep. Leggie Amit Mishra claimed a career best of 6 for 48 to set up an easy 7-wicket win for the World Champions. Mishra has bagged 18 wickets in the 5-match series. Zimbabwe once again failed to even post a total of 200 on the board.
Zimbabwe had its usual problems with its top order against the moving ball. Jaydev Unadkat, who opened the bowling for the first time in the series, provided the breakthrough for India. The left-armer got Vusi Sibanda edge a cut to the keeper in the 4th over. Skipper Brendan Taylor promoted himself to no.3 but once again got out without troubling the scorers. Taylor lost his patience after facing 10 balls without any runs and went for a booming drive but only to edge a Mohit Sharma delivery to the diving Raina at second slip.
Zimbabwe soon slipped to 45 for 4 by the 16th over. The third wicket to fall was that of Timycen Maruma, who was unlucky to be given caught behind off Mohammad Shami, with the ball brushing his pad and missing an inside edge. Hamilton Masakadza (32 from 46 balls), who opened the batting, was bowled by Jadeja after dragging a cut off an arm ball.
Amit Mishra ran through the rest of the Zimbabwean line-up after the early blows. First he had Malcolm Waller caught at mid on, miscuing a pull off a rank long hop and then got another lucky wicket when Chigumbura (17 from 37 balls) was given lbw despite an inside edge to a slider.
It was too easy for Mishra and India as the rest of the Zimbabwean players gifted away their wickets with the exception of left-handed Sean Williams. The 26-year-old helped himself to a 14th ODI fifty before gloving a sweep to slip having scored a 65-ball 51. Zimbabwe was bowled out for 163 in 39.5 overs.
India faced six overs before the scheduled lunch break in which they raced away to 43 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara became a casualty though as he was bowled for a duck in the first over thanks to a beauty from Kyle Jarvis that nipped back to clip the top of middle. India lost its momentum after the break and also the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan to Jarvis. Dhawan scored an attractive 41 from 38 balls (with 6 fours and a six) before edging one to the keeper in the 11th over.
There was no pressure on India at 55 for 2 and the pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja sealed the run chase after spending lots of time in the middle. Rahane helped himself to a third ODI fifty and got out for 50 (from 66 balls with 4 fours and a six) chopping a drive off part-time spinner Waller. Ravindra Jadeja took his own time but managed to play some big shots to finish the game with an unbeaten 48 (from 77 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes). India completed the chase with 16 overs to spare. As expected, Amit Mishra got the Man of the Match award.
Toss and Teams: India has won the toss and asked Zimbabwe to bat first in the fifth and final ODI at the Queen’s Park Oval in Bulawayo. The pitch is expected to play like the same it did in the fourth ODI with some early morning freshness for the seamers. It should get better for batting under the sun later on.
India has made changes as expected but have resisted from giving ODI debut to offie Parvez Rasool. Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane come in for Rohit Sharma and AT Rayudu. Zimbabwe has made as many as four changes with Kyle Jarvis, Timycen Maruma, Natsai M'shangwe and Tinotenda Mutombodzi coming in the team. Prosper Utseya, Sikandar Raza, Michael Chinouya and Tendai Chatara are all rested by the hosts for this game.
Zimbabwe: Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Brendan Taylor (C&WK), Sean Williams, Malcolm Waller, Timycen Maruma, Elton Chigumbura, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Natsai Mushangwe, Brian Vitori, Kyle Jarvis
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Mohit Sharma, Jaidev Unadkat