Pathan, Agarkar wreck Zimbabwe

Harare, August 29:

Zimbabwe capitulated to 65 as India coasted to a 161-run win in the triangular series. India lost two early wickets and were grateful to Mohammad Kaif, who made a watchful 65, and Mahendra Dhoni, who hit four sixes in an explosive 56. That took the India total to 226-6 but by the 15th over of the Zimbabwean reply the score was 38-8, as paceman Irfan Pathan claimed 5-27 — his career best in one-dayers. Ajit Agarkar finished with 4-18.

Heath Streak hit two fours in a final wicket stand of 22. Kaif’s innings was particularly valuable to India, who lost Venugopal Rao for a duck in the first over of the match. It continued the misfortune for the Indian team, beaten by New Zealand in their first match, after Virender Sehwag was forced to withdraw because of a fever. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid also fell cheaply, and it needed the powerful hitting of wicketkeeper Dhoni to make the score respectable.

Anthony Ireland was the most successful Zimbabwean bowler, picking up 3-54. As it turned out, 226 was more than enough, with the Zimbabwe top five all failing to reach double figures and it was left to Prosper Utseya to join Streak and take the score past 50. Having just hit his second boundary, Utseya was deceived by a quicker one from Harbhajan Singh and lobbed up a bat and pad catch to Dravid at slip.