Zimbabwe A v India A, Harare, 4th day August 8, 2004

India A romp to a 10-wicket victory

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Zimbabwe A 200 and 221 (Chigumbura 69, Maregwede 68, Paul 6-56) lost to India A 413 for 9 dec and 12 for 0 by 10 wickets

India A thundered to a resounding 10-wicket victory over Zimbabwe A on the last day of the four-day game. The home team could muster up only 221, as Shib Sankar Paul ran through the batting line-up yet again, with figures of six for 56, which gave him a match haul of 12 wickets. Only Elton Chigumbura (69) and Alester Maregwede (68) held out, but not even their fighting knocks could pose a challenge to the Indian team. Aakash Chopra and Gautam Gambhir knocked off the nine runs needed.

The defeat was all the more chastening for Zimbabwe A because seven players had represented the national team in their last game. Most of them were batsmen. They had begun the last day with Chigumbura and Maregwede holding firm. But after only 16 runs had been scored, Chigumbura fell to Paul (144 for 5), who dismissed Maregwede next, and from there on, it was all downhill. Maregwede's innings of 68 was his second half-century of the match, and like the first one, the second gave Zimbabwe's score respectability, but nothing more. Paul then added one more wicket to his tally, and Sairaj Bahutule dismissed two lower-order batters.

On this pitch, where the Indians managed a score over 400, you could say Zimbabwe A were simply unable to handle the bowlers. That was the bad news. The good bit is, chances are, they can only get better.