India-beat-Zimbabwe
This is MS Dhoni’s first series win since October 2014 © AFP

Team India put up a clinical performance to thrash Zimbabwe by 8 wickets in the second ODI at Harare and seal off the three-match ODI series. Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal‘s three-for spelt the doom of the struggling Zimbabwe batsmen and restricted them to 126. In reply, Karun Nair and Ambati Rayudu held their nerves and led the resurgence despite losing the in-form KL Rahul. It is MS Dhoni‘s first series win after 21 months, and first on Zimbabwe soil. There are a number of positives that can be drawn from India’s second-string side, with young guns KL Rahul, Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah putting up match-winning performances. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Zimbabwe 2016, 2nd ODI at Harare

Conditions being overcast before the toss, Captain Cool yet again won the toss and invited Zimbabwe to bat first on a bowling-friendly track. Like the previous match, Zimbabwe batsmen fell prey to India’s tight bowling and lost three wickets in the mandatory powerplay. However, it was Vusi Sibanda’s fighting 69-ball 53 that took the hosts out of the woods.

Despite the early jolts, Zimbabwe managed to score 103 at the loss of only 3 wickets. However, Chahal’s twin strikes broke hosts’ momentum to reduce them to 126 all out. In the pursuit of the second consecutive win, Rahul and Nair stitched a 58-run stand to dent the opposition’s spirit.  LIVE CRICKET BLOG: India vs Zimbabwe 2016, 2nd ODI at Harare

Nair had stroke of luck, as he edged a back-of-length delivery that was eventually given No-Ball. He made full use of his fortune and took his time to adjust to the conditions. He, along with Rayudu, played with caution and landed Team India a comprehensive victory.

Player of the Match: Yuzvendra Chahal

Brief scorecard:

Zimbabwe 126 (Vusi Sibanda 53 (69), 21 (26); Sikandar Raza 1 for 7, Chamu Chibhabha 1 for 31) lost to India 129 for 2 (Ambati Rayudu 41* (44), Karun Nair 39 (68); Yuzvendra Chahal 3 for 25, Barinder Sran 2 for 17)

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_)