India vs Zimbabwe 2013: 1st ODI - Heroes of the day
After a short rest period, the Men in Blue were back on the field for a three-match ODI series with Zimbabwe. With most regular players opting for a break after playing non-stop cricket for close to two months, it was heartening to see some fresh faces in the side.
Batting first, Zimbabwe posted 228/7 in their 50 overs, with both openers giving their side a steady start. India struck at regular intervals just as the batsmen were beginning to cut loose. Overall, the bowling performance was satisfactory barring a few.
India weathered a brief collapse before recovering through a century stand between skipper Virat Kohli and debutant Ambati Rayudu. They eventually completed a 6-wicket victory with 5.1 overs to spare, and thus went 1-0 up in the series.
Here are the Heroes for the Day:
1. Sikandar Raza (82 runs off 112 balls – 6 fours, 2 sixes; 1 catch)
The Pakistan-born right-handed opener played a very steady knock as he went about his task of steering Zimbabwe to a fighting total. He shared a 72-run opening stand with Vusimuzi Sibanda (34), before cutting loose after reaching his maiden ODI fifty. He hit the wayward Vinay Kumar for two towering sixes during the mandatory batting Powerplay, raising a quick 43-run partnership with skipper Brendan Taylor (12), before becoming the second of leg-spinner Amit Mishra’s three wickets.
With India 13 runs short of victory, Raza took a smart catch in the deep off Prosper Utseya to send back the dangerous Suresh Raina for a duck. He is a terrific prospect for the Zimbabwe side.