Akshar Patel recorded figures of 3 for 17 © PTI
Akshar Patel recorded figures of 3 for 17 © PTI

Harare: Awarded man-of-the-match on his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut against Zimbabwe on Friday, India‘s left-arm spinner Akshar Patel on Friday said he bowled to his strengths and was rewarded with a three-wicket haul. India beat Zimbabwe by 54 runs in their first T20I of a two-match series at the Harare Sports Club here. Set a target of 179, Zimbabwe could muster only 124 for seven, undone by the slow bowling pair of Akshar (3 for 17) and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (2 for 29), who derailed the hosts after opening batsmen Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha propelled them with a 55-run stand. MATCH REPORT: India vs Zimbabwe, 1st T20I at Harare

“I bowled to my strengths, cut the pace off the ball, so batsmen can’t hit me. So I was rewarded. I like the dukes ball that has more pronounced seam to grip,” Akshar said at the post match presentation ceremony. Earlier with the bat, Murali Vijay (34 off 19 balls), Rahane (33 off 32 balls) and Robin Uthappa (39 off 35 balls) helped India post a commendable total. SCORECARD: India vs Zimbabwe 1st T20 at Harare