A fighting century from Sikandar Raza ton wasn’t enough to take Zimbabwe over the finish line as India held nerves and registered a 13-run win and completed 3-0 ODI series sweep in Harare on Monday. Raza, who smashed 115 in 95 balls, kept the home side alive in their 290 chases with his 104-run partnership with Brad Evans, who amassed 28 off 36 deliveries. Raza, however, fell to an incredible catch by Shubman Gill in the penultimate over, as the pendulum swung again in India’s favor.
Sikandar Raza, who walked off to a standing ovation, tried to clear the long-on boundary but failed to connect the ball well. Gill was quick to run in from the fence and put on a well-timed dive. The youngster managed to grab the ball inches above the ground, which perhaps sealed the game and clean sweep for KL Rahul and co.
Raza perished after a valiant effort with the bat and even Indian players were seen congratulating the batter. Earlier, a superb maiden century by Shubman Gill and a half-century by Ishan Kishan powered India to 289/8 at the end of their 50 overs.
Here is the video of the catch taken by Shubman Gill:
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Shubman Gill, who smashed his maiden international hundred, helped India get to a competitive 289, while Zimbabwe’s innings ended at 276 in 49.3 overs. He shared a 140-run stand with Ishan after the visitors had opted to bat for the first time in the series. Evans, the son of a former Zimbabwe international, was the only bowler to impress, taking a career-best 5-54 in his 10 overs.
On the bowling front, Avesh Khan, who returned 3-66, took the most wickets among the Indian bowlers, but it was Shardul Thakur who claimed the prized wicket of Raza. He ended up with figures of 1-55.
After the game, Shubman Gill said his focus was to shrink the dot ball percentage, he explained, “I was just trying to minimize my dot ball percentage. I tried to hit the gaps as much as possible. When I went in, there were a couple of bowlers bowling well. It was crucial to get through that. Once we were settled, we knew we could attack. Feels good when you are with the same bunch. I got schooling from my father after I got out in the second ODI, so I dedicate this to him.”