Harare, July 26: The Delhi boys are having a good time in Harare. First, it was captain Virat Kohli's century (115) in the opener and today Shikhar Dhawan bettered his Delhi colleague with a career best 116. The left-handed opener's chancy knock and left-arm paceman Jaydev Unadkat's four-wicket haul propelled India to a 2-0 advantage over Zimbabwe in the five-match series.
Once India recovered from early jolts to post 294/8 in 50 overs on Friday, it was always going to be tough for the hosts' batsmen. Though the beginning of the chase was good, the end was not the same. They surrendered by 58 runs, finishing with 236/9 in 50 overs.
Unadkat, playing his second ODI, was India's most successful bowler with four wickets (4/41 in 10 overs with 3 maidens). He also ran captain Brendan Taylor out for a duck. Amit Mishra (2/46), Mohammed Shami (1/52) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/30) joined in to make it yet another one-sided contest.
Opener Vusi Sibanda's (55, 65 balls, 7x4, 2x6) half century guided Zimbabwe to 109/1 in 20 overs. But his dismissal on the first ball of 21st over triggered a mid-innings collapse. Soon, they were reeling at 133/6 in 30.2 overs and the target of 295 looked out of reach.
From 109/1 in 20 overs the hosts managed just 24 runs for 5 wickets in the next block of 10 overs (133/6 in 30). Elton Chigumbura (46, 58 balls, 4x4, 1x6) and Prosper Utseya (52 not out, 62 balls, 5x4) had the biggest partnership of the innings (88 in 17.5 overs) for the seventh wicket but it was never threatening. Zimbabwe lost their way between 20 and 30 overs.
India won the first match by six wickets at the same venue. The third ODI is on Sunday (July 28).
India post 294/8 in 50 overs
Dhawan rode his luck to score a career best 116. Thanks to Dhawan's third ODI century (116, 127 balls, 11x4, 2x6) and Dinesh Karthik's 69 (74 balls 6x4), India posted 294/8 in 50 overs. The duo was instrumental in bringing India back into the game when they were struggling at 65/4 in 16.4 overs.
Dhawan and Karthik's association for the fifth wicket was worth 167 runs. In the final over of the innings, India hammered Sean Williams for 23 runs.
The 27-year-old Dhawan was caught off a no-ball on 3, then dropped on 14 and 70. He made Zimbabwe pay for these lapses with his third ODI hundred.
The left-hander from Delhi is the quickest Indian to three centuries mark. His third ton came in 17th innings. The previous fastest was Virat Kohli, in 32 innings.
At the start, Rohit Sharma, in his 100th ODI, fell for just 1 run. It was a similar dismissal to the first ODI. He was caught at slip.
There was controversy when Kohli was adjudged out by the third umpire even when the TV replays were inconclusive on a low catch.
Kohli, furious with the decision, walked off for 14 runs. Malcolm Waller was the catcher at mid-on off Kyle Jarvis. On-field umpire Bruce Oxenford (Australia) referred the catch to TV umpire Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe) and he gave the Indian captain out.
Kohli was not convinced with the decision at first and asked Oxenford to check again. The verdict did not change and he had to leave the field angrily. During his brief stay today, Kohli completed 4,500 ODI runs. He is the 10th Indian to the landmark.
Ambati Rayudu (5) and Suresh Raina (4) too fell cheaply and India were in trouble at 65/4 in 16.4 overs.
Zimbabwe send India to bat
Unchanged India were invited to bat by Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor.
Taylor won the toss and had no hesitation in opting to bowl. India skipper Virat Kohli too had done the same in the first ODI at the same venue.
Kohli's 115 and an unbeaten half century from debutant Ambati Rayudu had taken India to an easy six-wicket win in the series opener.
Zimbabwe made one change from the previous game, bringing in Brian Vitori for Tinotenda Mutombodzi.
Rohit Sharma is playing his 100th ODI today. In 99 matches, he has scored 2,479 runs at 32.19. He has hit two hundreds and 17 half centuries.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Shami Ahmed, R Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Jaydev Unadkat.
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (captain and wicketkeeper), Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Brian Vitori, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams.
Match starts at 12.30 PM IST