Kochi: After sterling performances in the previous two matches, the Indian batsmen failed to last even their full quota of overs, being all out for 191 of 48.3 overs in the third One-day International against Zimbabwe on Wednesday. Electing to bat, India, which had registered 300 plus scores on the earlier two occasions it played at this ground, saw two big collapses in the top and bottom orders.
But for an 86-run partnership between Mohammed Kaif and Sanjay Bangar for the fifth wicket, the hosts would have cut a sorry figure.Kaif top-scored with 56 off 78 balls and Bangar made 36. Harbhajan Singh was the only other notable scorer, remaining unbeaten with 24 useful runs. Skipper Saurav Ganguly, Dinesh Mongia, V V S Laxman and Rahul Dravid, all of whom excelled in the first two matches, were out by the 13th over with just 51 runs on the board. With the exception of Mongia, who fell to a debatable leg before wicket against Douglas Hondo for four, all others were out to indiscreet shots.
Hondo, who replaced an injured Andy Flower in the Zimbabwean side, took the first three wickets and the last one of Zaheer Khan to finish with impressive figures of four for 37 from his 8.3 overs. Grant Flower and Douglas Marillier claimed two each as the Indian innings came to an end in the 49th over.