and Dhoni finishes off the match in the grandest of style, sending this short delivery high over backward square to seal a six-wicket victory for India, and more importantly, ensure they go undefeated through the group stages
10.04 pm: India exit the group stages with six out of six wins to their name as they now look forward to facing Bangladesh in their quarter-final match-up at the MCG on March 19.
Zimbabwe, while they have played some wonderful cricket at times, have to head on the next jet to Harare, with Brendan Taylor leaving with some special memories from this tournament, having become the first and only Zimbabwean to score 400 runs in a single edition, not to mention, score back-to-back World Cup tons as well. But in the end, Raina's 110*, along with Dhoni's 85*, ensured India got over the line.
Now I could just give you the usual spiel to close this off, but I will let the master take it away. This is Rohan Sharma, signing off for ESPNcricinfo!
MS Dhoni, India captain: Even when Virat went in to bat, we felt a bit of pressure. Zimbabwe are a good side, but we were expected to win. The wicket really wasn't coming on nicely, and we didn't have enough pace to work with. Our lower order got a bit to bat. Raina is a key player for us at No. 5. The partnership between Raina and I was very good. Everyone has been put under pressure, whether the three fast bowlers or the spinners, or the top order in a few games. This is the difference between playing here and a bilateral series, where the lower order is hardly tested. That's why these games can be tough as the lower order have not got a lot of chances to bat. (What is it that has changed in the Indian team after the Tri-Series, to make this side better?) I think it is more the processes than the results. Also the way the boys have taken on their responsibilities quite well. We have been here for over three months now, and we need to give the guys some break in between, so getting fresh has helped as well. The fans have come in huge numbers, which has also gone a long way.
Brendan Taylor, Zimbabwe captain: We played some brilliant cricket, and have been shoddy at times. It hasn't been a lot in it though, just a few dropped catches, and maybe finishing off the death bowling, but overall we have played some good cricket. After 50 overs I would have taken 280, but the last four-five overs we should have got it up to 310-320. They played the better cricket, and while that dropped catch would have helped (Hamilton drop to Raina), India proved why they are the top of the group. It is nice to get a few runs, but it is sad to have ended. It has been a joyful ride though.
9.52 pm: Don't go anywhere just yet as we are expecting more quotes from the match presentation.
Suresh Raina, Man of the Match: I am glad the hard work came off. I thought the wicket was really good, and if ever I got the ball I can go after, then I would go after it. Once MS came, it certainly helped as well. When the team needed me the most, I just wanted to be positive and smart, especially in the Powerplays. Glad we were able to do it really well in the end. MS and I have played a lot of matches together, and have finished a lot of matches together. MS told me that I just can't smash every ball, but he did back my strengths on the field. (When asked if this was his most important ton?) It is a very important award to me, to add to my Man of the Match award from the U-19 World Cup as well.
9.48 pm: Spare a thought for Brendan Taylor, whose majestic 138 went in vain as Zimbabwe, at least in the first 20-25 overs of this chase, threatened to pull the rug from underneath India's feet, but fell away at the end to give India a firm grip on the game.
9.46 pm: This is India's highest successful run-chase in a World Cup match, not to mention their 10th consecutive World Cup match success on the trot. Raina and Dhoni rescued India with their 196-run stand, which is also a record for their highest five-wicket stand in a World Cup match.
low full toss which is now sent screaming away to deep extra-cover, with the boundary rider doing really well to cut this off before the rope. Even though this match seems a foregone conclusion, the commitment was excellent. India now need 6 to win, with Dhoni on strike
just guides this low full toss through long off for an easy single
reaches out to this fuller one going across him, but fails to get it away
Abhishek: "This match has been eerily similar to the NZ vs Bang match."
shortish and on the stumps as Raina is hurried on the pull shot, but manages to send it to deep mid-icket
another slower ball from Chatara which Raina taps towards point, looking for the quick single, but Dhoni is not keen
tries to get away a single through third man, but is held by the fielder inside of the ring
short, wide delivery which gives the umpire another chance to stretch his arms. Zimbabwe have really fallen away in these last eight to ten overs. Brings back that 80/20 rule around their cricket
cuts away hard now, square off the wicket, as he is able to return back in time for the second
short fine leg does well to keep this attempted tickle down the leg side to just one
waits on this slow, back of a length before dabbing away softly on the off side
slants in a short of a length ball which goes down leg which is penalised by the umpire
bowls a low, full toss which is steered away comfortably to midwicket
bowls a full toss which is powered away through long leg for another boundary. Poor delivery which was treated with utter disdain by the Indian captain
brings back flashes of April 2, 2011 with this club down long on, except this was hit a lot straighter than the famous, World Cup winning strike. Ends up sailing over the rope anyways
Dhoni trying to get this over with as he sends a big tonk wide over long on, but is lucky for this not to go to hand as there was a fielder in the vicinity
lofts this fuller length down to the fielder at long off, who is able to come forward rapidly before this one just fell just short of him. Hard to call it a dropped chance really
uses that famous bottom hand of his to lift this low full toss over to long on
niyas: "raina just did a Yuvraj singh here"
on the back foot as he tried to pull away through short backward square. The fielder is able to pick it up and fire in a throw at the striker's end, with Raina not even in the picture, but he misses. Would have been interesting had that struck
gets an edge to this shortish length that comes back into the right-hander. Taylor ends up taking this one on the bounce
|Eden Park, Auckland|
|Toss||India, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Match number||ODI no. 3636|
|Hours of play (local time)||14.00 start, First Session 14.00-17.30, Interval 17.30-18.15, Second Session 18.15-21.45|
|Match days||14 March 2015 - daynight (50-over match)|
|Points||India 2, Zimbabwe 0|