India puts up fine all-round show to beat Zim
Published: Monday, March 11, 2002, 5:27 [IST]
Scorecard of Match 2
Mohali: Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid slammed robust half-centuries to set up India's 64-run victory over Zimbabwe in the second One-day International on Sunday.Man-of-the-match Ganguly smashed an 83-ball 86 and Dravid 66 not out off 59 deliveries as India posted a record 319 for six after electing to bat in the day-night game. Alistair Campbell (62) and pinch-hitter Travis Friend (63) shared a 134-run stand for the second wicket, but the total proved too big for Zimbabwe, which was dismissed for 255 after being penalised one over for slow over-rate. Part-time spinner Dinesh Mongia and Harbhajan Singh pressed home the advantage given by their batsmen as they shared six wickets. Left-arm spinner Mongia, bowling for the first time in 12 matches, finished with three for 31 and off spinner Harbhajan grabbed three for 40 as Zimbabwe lost its last six wickets for 51 runs. Harbhajan ended a Zimbabwean fight back when he dismissed Friend and Campbell in successive overs to help his team square the five-match series 1-1 following its one-wicket defeat in the previous game at Faridabad on Thursday. Friend struck one six and seven fours in his maiden 59-ball half-century and Campbell eight boundaries in his 75-ball knock, but none of the remaining batsmen could capitalise on their brilliant efforts. Their stand was the highest against India, the previous best for the second wicket being 125 between Campbell and Murray Goodwin at Bulawayo in 1998. "We were not under pressure during their partnership," Indian skipper Surav Ganguly said. "You don't think of losing the match after scoring 319. We batted really well." Mongia then got the prize wicket of Andy Flower, who chopped a delivery on to his stumps after contributing 29. Douglas Marillier, who improvised superbly to make an unbeaten 56 in his team's win in the last match, could not repeat his magic as he fell to a running catch by wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra while trying to sweep Mongia. Earlier, India went on a run-spree against an erratic Zimbabwean seam bowling attack, surpassing its previous highest total against the visitors of 306 for five at Ahemdabad in 2000. Ganguly put his team on the right course, hitting three sixes and eight fours in his fourth successive half-century, much to the delight of nearly 40,000 spectators. He put on 109 for the opening wicket with Mongia (45) and 79 for the second with Venkatsai Laxman (52). Zimbabwean seamers Heath Streak, Friend and Gary Brent erred in line and length, giving enough width to Ganguly and Mongia to cut and drive. The pair provided an explosive start with a flurry of boundaries as India raced to 100 in the 14th over. Local hero Mongia set the pace as he flicked, pulled and on-drove Streak for three fours in an over. He was caught by Friend at mid-off while trying to hit Marillier over the top. Ganguly matched Mongia shot for shot as he cover drove and pulled Brent for two boundaries in an over and then lofted him over long-off for the first six of the innings. The Indian captain continued to play big shots, lofting left-arm spinner Grant Flower into the stands for his second six. He looked set for his century when he was run out coming back for the second run, failing to beat a Streak direct-hit from the deep. The openers' onslaught spoiled the Zimbabweans' rhythm as the tourists bowled 27 extra deliveries in the form of wides and no balls, including an 11-ball over from Friend. "We didn't bowl well," Zimbabwean captain Stuart Carlisle said . "We conceded not only extras deliveries, but also runs. It was a good wicket to bat on but India scored a big total."