Eight overs into the game, Eden Park is about 60% full, mostly with Indian fans, and they let out a collective "oooh" when Solomon Mire mis-hits a short of a length ball from Mohammed Shami. Another "oooh" follows as the ball lobs in the air, and a third "oooh" in quick succession as it comes down inches from the batsman's stumps. All this while Mire has no idea where the ball is. Searching for the ball, he took a couple of steps towards point, before hearing it thud precariously behind him.
India's seamers, as has been the case all through the tournament, held a tight rein on the opposition in the mandatory Powerplay. Until the final over of first 10, only one boundary had been hit. Then, Brendan Taylor, in what is set to be his final game for Zimbabwe before he heads to England to ply his trade in county cricket, provided a big of magic for Zimbabwe with a dismissive, nonchalant loft over long-off off Umesh Yadav. The shot was met with the enthusiastic applause Taylor had been drawing all afternoon, right from the time he had said it was "an emotional day" for him at the toss, and a resigned shake of the head from Ajinkya Rahane at mid-on who knew there was no point chasing that.
Solomon Mire channelled his inner Adam Gilchrist off the final ball of the 11th over, choosing to walk after feathering the ball to MS Dhoni. Dhoni was very sure he had got a nick, but the bowler Mohit Sharma was less convinced. He half-heartedly raised a hand in appeal after seeing Dhoni's fling the ball in the air, turning to the umpire who had not reacted either. But it mattered little, as Mire had by then turned and begun to walk back to the dressing room.
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane had just completed a half-century stand, and steadied India after Tinashe Panyangara's early double-strike, when Rahane made a costly error. Tapping the ball towards the covers, he set off for a run only to see Sikandar Raza haring to his left from short cover. Realising the run was not on, Rahane turned, scrambled and put in a dive to get back, but it was not enough to outdo a spectacular bit of fielding. Raza dived too, picked up the ball, and arrowed in the throw to wicketkeeper Taylor in one sweeping motion. The throw was pinpoint despite Raza throwing while still airborne, and Taylor did the rest. Rahane's bat was probably a smidgeon over the line, but none of it was grounded, and so he had to go.
With India's required rate in the mid-eights and rising, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina had begun to open up. India had just the spinning-allrounders Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin to follow, with 130 needed of the final 15. That's when Hamilton Masakadza - whose maiden World Cup has gone all downhill after a promising start against South Africa - dropped a regulation take off Suresh Raina, who got the top edge while trying to sweep. Masakadza jogged back from short fine leg, positioned himself under the ball, and let it through his fingers. The game proceeded to slip through Zimbabwe's fingers.