Elton-Chigumbura-of-Zimbabwe-plays-a-shot
Elt0n Chigumbura was at his rampant best © Getty Images (File Photo)

Elton Chigumbura smashed an unbeaten 54 to take Zimbabwe to a mammoth 170 against India in 1st T20I at Harare. Given the conditions were chilly, India captain MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl first. In fact, this is the fourth consecutive time India bowled first on this tour. Dhoni drafted as many as five debutants: KL Rahul, Rishi Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mandeep Singh and Jaydev Unadkat. To start off the proceedings, the Zimbabwe openers took the inexperienced Indian bowling attack took the cleaners and set the scoreboard on fire. It was veteran Hamilton Masakadza in thick of the action, plundering three spectacular sixes in his fiery 25-run innings. Full Cricket Scorecard: Zimbabwe vs India, 1st T20I, at Harare

However, star bowler Jasprit Bumrah provided the much needed breakthrough, as the in-form Masakadza top-edged a back-of-length delivery to wicketkeeper Dhoni. It was Captain Cool’s 61st dismissal, making him the most successful wicketkeeper  in the shortest format. Read: MS Dhoni becomes most successful wicketkeeper in T20Is

Just when Zimbabwe managed to put India on the back foot, Unadkat’s lethal back-of-length delivery hit Richmond Mutumbami’s ribs, which left him in excruciating pain. He, later, decided to retire-hurt to get medical attention.

Dhawan, on the other hand, made matters worse for the hosts, as he castled Chamu Chibhabha with a peach of delivery. But, Malcom Waller and Sikander Raza stitched up a crucial 47-run stand to take the team out of the woods. Waller, however, took attack to the opposition and churned out 30 runs before was outfoxed by Chahal’s quicker one. Live Updates: India vs Zimbabwe 2016, Live Cricket Score, 1st T20I at Harare

The onus was then on the warhorse Elton Chigumbura to continue the onslaught and take Zimbabwe to a competitive total. He started the rampage by feeding on Chahal’s slow leg-breaks and spanked three colossal sixes over wide long  off. As matter of fact, he was on such destructive mode that he rattled a four and two more sixes in the 19th over, the best one was the flat maximum over long on.

Dhoni handed the last over to his go-to bowler Bumrah stop the rampant Chigumbura. Nevertheless, the blistering batsman used his long handle to destructive effect and milked two colossal sixes to bring his third T20I half-century.

Brief scorecard:

Zimbabwe 170 for 6 in 20 overs (Malcolm Waller 30, Elton Chigumbura 54*; Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 24, Akshar Patel 1 for 18) vs India

Full scorecard

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @kaumedy_)