HARARE – Zimbabwe cricket fans staged a protest following the team’s insipid performance during yesterday’s eight-wicket defeat to a second-string India in the second match of the Killer Cup ODI series.
India effectively sealed the three-match series with yesterday’s win having won Saturday’s opening ODI by nine wickets.
With all signs during the game pointing towards another heavy defeat for the home side, Zimbabwe fans abandoned their Castle Corner in the city end and left a huge banner with the words: “WHAT A SHAME”.
For the greater part of the match, the angry fans, who braved the cold weather, sang revolutionary songs denouncing the poor display from the local cricketers.
The fans’ anger can be understood considering how Makhaya Ntini’s side capitulated after crumbling 126 all-out inside 34,3 overs.
A lot had been expected from the hosts in this match after Saturday’s defeat but it was India, who looked like the hungrier of the two sides. India captain MS Dhoni won the toss and stuck to the winning formula as he opted to field first just as was the case with the first ODI.
The Zimbabwean batsmen failed to occupy the crease losing wickets in clusters as they failed to contend with the Indian bolwers.
Perhaps the only positive from the match was that at least Vusi Sibanda managed a half century scoring 53 runs from 69 deliveries batting at number four.
Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer was not pleased with his batters whom he said set a below par score on a batting track.
“Losing the toss again may have played a part but our batters didn’t’ look the part. The wicket was still doing a little bit and we were looking to get around to get them under pressure,” Cremer said.
India were in a hurry to wrap up the match unlike in the first ODI and took them 26,5 overs only to reach the target scoring 129 for the loss of two wickets.
Ambati Rayudu top scored for the visitors as he finished unbeaten on 41 from 44 deliveries.
Rayudu closed out the innings with Manish Pandey 4 (1) after KK Nair and KL Rahul had been dismissed for 39 and 33 runs respectively.
Dhoni was naturally ecstatic with the series win.
“It’s always good to take catches and inside edges are always good to take. It was a different performance from the first game…,” Dhoni said.
“Our bowlers did a great job … I feel they would cross 200 and our spinners got us important breakthroughs. Most important thing is to win games and our batting when it comes to professionalism is right up there, even in the first game.”