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May 29, 2010

Tri-Series: Zimbabwe beat India by 6 wickets

A maiden ODI century for India by Rohit Sharma was not sufficient to stop Zimbabwe from snatching a spectacular victory in the 1st one-day international of the tri-series.

Zimbabwe won at a dash with 10 balls and six wickets to spare in the first of two matches between them in a tri-series which also includes Sri Lanka.

Top six Zimbabwe batsmen, led by man-of-the-match Brendan Taylor, contributed drastically towards a surprise victory as they overtake an India total of 285-5 to record an impressive 289-4 in reply.

Indian skipper Suresh Raina, who had won the toss and opted to bat, praised the Zimbabwe batsmen but blamed the beat more on the inexperience of his team.

"Some of players have never played at this level," he explained. "However we should have been able to defend 285 runs."

Brendan Taylor's innings of 81 runs, cut short with a boundary catch when missing his 2nd ODI century, was backed up principally by Craig Ervine in his first ODI innings for Zimbabwe. He made 67 with Hamilton Masakadza contributing 46.

Rohit Sharma's century earlier in the day was a mix of prudence and boundary hunting as he gained confidence. He came in when India had lost three wickets for 61 and were momentarily on the back foot.

Their recovery from this, led by Rohit, came with a flurry of boundaries in later overs and 285 runs seemed likely to be sufficient to beat a home team with no great record in internationals.

But the Zimbabweans, who have done their Test cricket return aspirations a boost with this result, set about the task with inspiration and confidence.