Bahutule leads India A to convincing win
India A 420 and 50 for 1 beat Zimbabwe Select XI 259 and 208 (Chigumbura 71, Chinyoka 62, Bahutule 6-43) by 9 wickets
India A began their Zimbabwe campaign with a thumping nine-wicket win against a Zimbabwe Select XI at the Harare Sports Club. Against a team which largely consisted of players who had played international cricket over the past few months, the Indians were never in trouble after posting 420 in their first innings. The Zimbabweans were forced to follow on after being bundled out for 259 in their first innings, but fared even worse in their second, making just 208.
The star of the show for India A was their captain, Sairaj Bahutule, who ripped through the Zimbabwean line-up with his legspinners, returning figures of 4 for 71 and 6 for 43 to finish with ten wickets for the match. Elton Chigumbura, who had recently played the home series against Sri Lanka and Australia, did his utmost to resist Bahutule's charge, scoring 57 and 71, but the Zimbabweans were done in by their batsmen's failure to convert starts - they had eight scores of 25 or more, but none topped Chigumbura's 71. Tatenda Taibu, their captain, had an especially forgettable game, making 0 and 5.
Earlier, the Indian first innings had been propped up their openers, Dheeraj Jadhav and Gautam Gambhir. Jadhav made 93 while Gambhir top-scored with 103, the only century of the match. Dinesh Karthik, the wicketkeeper, propped up the lower order with 96 to ensure that India A survived a mid-innings slump.
The game was also a useful outing for Aavishkar Salvi, who had missed much of the pervious season due to injury. Salvi returned match figures of 5 for 94, and outshone the other Indian seamers, Munaf Patel (3 for 40) and Amit Bhandari, who was easily the most listless of the lot, ending with none for 93 from 19 overs.