Zimbabwe held its nerve to beat India by two runs in the first Twenty20 on Saturday as Mahendra Singh Dhoni failed to hit a four off the last ball for the win.
Zimbabwe seamer Neville Madziva conceded just five off the last over, and removed the dangerous-looking Axar Patel, as India fell short of the home team’s 170-6. India ended on 168-6 and Dhoni was 19 not out after only managing a single off that final delivery.
Zimbabwe’s total was set up by 54 not out off 26 balls from Elton Chigumbura and 30 from Malcolm Waller. Chigumbura hit seven sixes in his rapid innings after coming in with less than five overs of the innings to go.
Manish Pandey made 48 for India, which easily won the one-day series 3-0 and was expected to continue its dominance in the three-match T20 series.
Zimbabwe’s surprise win sparked boisterous celebrations by the home players and crowd as Madziva ripped a stump out the ground and ran toward the fans.
Zimbabwe posted a challenging total at Harare Sports Club and held off a late surge by the Indians.
India needed 29 off the last three overs but Patel hit two sixes and a four to help get the equation to a manageable eight off the last over.
Madziva removed Patel in the second ball of that final over — caught at long-off — and gave up just four runs off the last four deliveries of the match to give Zimbabwe an unexpected lead in the series. AP