Cochin: Alistair Campbell completed 5,000 runs with an impressive 71 to help Zimbabwe thrash India by six wickets in the third One-day International on Wednesday. The left-handed opener put on 105 for the third wicket with Grant Flower (49) as Zimbabwe surpassed India's total of 191 with 5.4 overs to spare to gain a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Campbell reached the 5,000-mark in One-dayers in style, swinging left-arm spinner Dinesh Mongia over mid-wicket for a six to become the third Zimbabwean to reach the landmark after Andy Flower (5,897) and Grant Flower (5,475). He smashed one six and seven fours in his third successive half-century to ensure that man-of-the-match Douglas Hondo's superb four-wicket performance did not go to waste. "He (Hondo) kept it very simple and bowled a good line and length," Zimbabwean skipper Stuart Carlisle said. "Campbell and Grant Flower grafted well. It was not very easy batting on this pitch as the ball turned and sometimes kept low. It was a good team effort."
The 22-year-old Hondo, in his first match of the series, rocked India during his incisive spell to finish with four for 37 off 8.3 overs after the hosts had elected to bat at the Nehru Stadium. The fast bowler, playing his third One-day International without a wicket to his credit, wrecked the top order by dismissing Mongia, skipper Saurav Ganguly and Venkat Sai Laxman to reduce India to 51 for four in the 13th over. Mohammad Kaif (56) and Sanjay Bangar (36) tried to repair the damage with an 86-run stand for the fifth wicket, but their efforts were not enough to help their team set a stiff target. "We did not bat well," Ganguly said.
"A total of 191 is no total at all on this wicket. But it is not right to expect a score of 275 every time we go out to bat." Zimbabwe was in trouble for a brief spell when it lost opener Dion Ebrahim and Travis Friend on 39, but Campbell and Grant Flower thwarted India with their sensible batting. There was no pressure of run-rate on Campbell and Grant Flower, who did not take any risks and kept rotating the strike to put their team in a strong position.
Campbell was stumped in the 34th over with the score at 144, stepping out to drive off spinner Sharandeep Singh only to be beaten by the turn. Carlisle and Craig Wishart kept their cool in the heat and humidity to complete the job begun by Hondo, included in the team along with fellow-seamer Mpumelelo Mbangwa in place of unfit Andy Flower and Gary Brent. Wishart finished the match with his second six, pulling Mongia over mid-wicket. Hondo was well supported by spinners Grant Flower and Douglas Marillier, who shared four wickets to make sure that India did not cross the 200-mark.
Kaif alone gave a good account of himself in the dismal Indian batting display, pulling Mbangwa over mid-wicket for the only six of the Indian innings during his maiden half-century in One-day Internationals. India, which had scored more than 300 in the two matches played at this venue, never looked like posting a big total after being rattled by Hondo early in the innings.
The Indian batsmen lacked application, their woes beginning in the fourth over when Hondo trapped opener Mongia leg before for his maiden wicket. Laxman tried to hit his way out of trouble, taking 11 runs in a Hondo over. His flourish did not last long as he edged the bowler to wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu after contributing 20. Hondo then got the prize wicket of Ganguly, who went into the match with four successive half-centuries.
The Indian captain charged down the pitch to try an ambitious shot, missed the line and was bowled for 11 to leave his team struggling at 49 for three. India was in deep trouble two runs later as Mbangwa had Rahul Dravid caught by Wishart in the slips for six. Kaif and Bangar steadied the innings, but could not step up the run-rate against Marillier and Grant Flower.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |