Zimbabwe Select XI v India A, Harare, 3rd day July 31, 2004

India A complete comfortable victory

Wisden Cricinfo staff

India A 259 and 26 for 0 beat Zimbabwe Select XI 152 and 131 (Vermeulen 40, Bahutule 4-11) by 10 wickets

The Zimbabwean freefall continued as India A wrapped up their second game by a big margin on the third morning at Harare. The Indian bowlers picked up the one remaining Zimbabwean wicket early on, and Dheeraj Jadhav and Gautam Gambhir then cruised to the small target of 25 for victory. There will now be a one-day limited overs match tomorrow between the two sides because the game finished a day early.

The win for India A completed a match in which they had been dominant right from the off, and today's action finished off the hard work yesterday which put them into the winning position. India A had resumed the third day at 133 for 3, but both Rohan Gavaskar and Dinesh Karthik, who had made half-centuries, didn't add much to their overnight scores and fell in quick succession. However, a 77-run partnership between MS Dhoni, the wicketkeeper from Bihar, and Sairaj Bahutule ensured a big lead. Dhoni fell five short of his fifty while Bahutule finished on 57.

Tineshe Panyangara was the most successful Zimbabwean bowler, with 5 for 60, and he made quick work of the tail. With the recent batting failures of the Zimbabweans, a lead of 107 was always going to be handy for the Indians and Shib Shankar Paul, the medium-pacer from Bengal, dented the top order with three quick wickets. Then, the spinners weaved their web.

Ramesh Powar, Paul and Bahutule then ran through the Zimbabwean second innings. Powar and Paul took three wickets apiece, while Bahutule took 4 for 11, including the final wicket as Zimbabwe crashed towards the inevitable defeat.

Both teams wil now prepare themselves for the one-off one-dayer tomorrow on the same ground.