Series victory in sight for India


India will look to wrap up their one-day international series with Zimbabwe with a game to spare when the two sides meet in Harare again on Monday.

The tourists romped to a nine-wicket victory in Saturday's opener thanks to a sizzling century from debutant KL Rahul, the opener hitting seven fours and a six as India comfortably chased down their target of 169.

His only maximum of the match came off the final ball, Rahul swinging across the line to launch a full toss way over the leg-side boundary, making him only the 11th debutant to make a ton on ODI debut - and the first Indian.

Rahul was ably assisted by Ambati Rayudu (62 not out) as India cruised home with 45 balls to spare, and while the batsman earned plenty of credit, captain MS Dhoni was quick to praise his bowling attack.

"It was a very good performance," he said. "I felt the fast bowlers did well, and were backed by the spinners even though there wasn't much help for them. 

"A win first up is important in a three-game series. The batsmen did a very good job, but the bowlers laid the ground work."

Zimbabwe will hope to perform much better with the bat to make the second game more competitive, and ensure the final match is not a dead rubber.

The hosts struggled to cope with Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni, Barinder Sran, Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, with only six players reaching double figures.

Elton Chigumbura was alone in pushig on before he was bowled by Bumrah for 41 and captain Graeme Cremer knows the rest of Zimbabwe's batting line-up need to provide more support.

"We didn't get enough runs," he acknowledged. "Maybe if we would have got to 220, it could have been a different story. 

"We lost a couple of wickets to good balls, but few of the guys didn't kick on after getting 20s and 30s. Indian batsmen showed how easy batting can get once you get in. 

"Our seamers bowled well, but it just didn't go our way. We know we're much better than that, and we can hopefully win the next game to make the third ODI a final."