Wed, Aug 31, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Zimbabwe crushed as India advances to 161-run victory

AP , HARARE, ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe's batsmen failed dismally yet again as India thrashed the host team by 161 runs in Monday's third one-day international at Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwe was bowled out for 65 runs as Irfan Pathan took a personal-best 5-27 and teammate Ajit Agarakar claimed 4-18.

India, put in to bat by Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu, made a total of 226 for six, which appeared to be quite a modest score until the home side's latest collapse.

Zimbabwe lost its first wicket on seven and the procession continued. The best partnership was the last, between Heath Streak and Prosper Utseya, yielding 22 runs. Streak finished undefeated on 18.

"There is still so much to do with our batting," said Taibu, one of the failures after scoring only four runs.

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said: "We were a lot better today. But we need to make better starts to our innings with good partnerships. We will be working on that."

With Virender Sehwag missing and Ganguly continuing his poor form, India was only able to set Zimbabwe a seemingly reachable target of 227 for victory.

Sehwag was out with a fever and was replaced by Suresh Raina.

Ganguly, who has now managed only 25 runs in two innings on the tour so far, gave an easy catch to Gavin Ewing fielding in close for his 20.

Rahul Dravid also struggled, making 14 to add to his five against New Zealand on Friday.

Some stability was created by Mohammad Kaif, but he was forced to be circumspect in making 65. He was dismissed when he changed to a more forceful approach, caught and bowled by Ewing.

India benefited from flourishes by Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Dhoni later on. They managed to put the run rate beyond four an over by the 46th, and put together a 103-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Yuvraj scored an unbeaten 53 and Dhoni went for 56 to Zimbabwe's best bowler, Anthony Ireland.

Ireland finished with 3-54 off his 10 overs.

Zimbabwe will meet New Zealand on Wednesday.

The Kiwis won their opening two matches of the triangular tournament last week -- one against Zimbabwe and one against India.

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