Kanpur: India smashed their way to a 3-1 series triumph over Zimbabwe in the One-day Internationals at the Green Park Stadium on Monday. Man-of-the-match Saurav Ganguly guided India to 166 for one off 25 overs after restricting the visitors to 165 all out.The Indian openers Sachin Tendulkar and skipper Saurav Ganguly were never in trouble in chasing the small total. They took their time to get their eyes in and then pummelled the Zimbabwean bowling into submission. Ganguly played two superb flicks down the leg side to signal victory for India.Tendulkar was also at his smashing best, but lost his wicket at the fag end of the chase.
The little master tried to pull Travis Friend on the leg side, completely missed the ball and was rapped on the pads of a delivery that kept low. But, the damage had been done by then as the opening stand, which yielded 157 runs to underline India's overwhelming superiority.While Tendulkar was out for 62 runs off 86 balls with nine fours, Ganguly remained unbeaten on 71 runs from 68 balls with 11 fours and one six.
The last match at Rajkot on November 14 will thus be reduced to academic interest.Ganguly also did the star turn with the ball as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 165 in 45.4 overs. Ganguly returned with a five-wicket haul and was well supported by Agarkar, who claimed four wickets.The Green Park Stadium, traditionally a batsman's paradise, saw the Indian bowlers dominate especially Ganguly with his slower variety. Ganguly broke the Zimbabwe back by running through the middle order.Zimbabwe started sedately with the openers Alistair Campbell and Trevor Madondo adding 60 runs for the first wicket.
Disaster struck Zimbabwe the moment Ajit Agarkar, who came as one change bowler, broke the opening stand by rattling the stumps of Campbell for 32 (44 balls, four fours).Madondo was out soon, lbw to Agarkar and the Zimbabwe procession began. Ganguly accounted for the big wickets of Stuart Carlisle, Andy Flower and Grant Flower as the Zimbabwe wickets fell in a heap. Madondo also scored 32 runs off 65 balls with five hits to the fence.
Indians made three changes from the team that lost an exciting tie at Jodhpur. Yuvraj Singh, Sunil Joshi and Reetinder Singh Sodhi made way for Virender Sehwag, Aashish Kapoor and Sridharan Sriram. Zimbabwe replaced Gavin Rennie with Trevor Madondo.