Vijay, Rahane help India post 271/8 against Zimbabwe

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Harare, July 12 (IANS) India’s openers Murali Vijay and skipper Ajinkya Rahane played a slow but structured innings to help India reach 271/8 in 50 overs against Zimbabwe in the second of their three-match One-Day International (ODI) series at the Harare Sports Club here on Sunday.

Vijay struck 72 runs off 95 balls while Rahane scored 63 off 83 to help the visitors reach a decent total.

For Zimbabwe, Neville Madziva (4/49) was the pick of the bowlers.

Put in to bat by Zimbabwe, India got off to a slow start with openers Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay taking their time to settle down. The duo went on to score 39 in the first 10 overs.

The home team bowled on a tight line at the start forcing the India batmen to be cautious.

The next ten overs also saw the visitors play sedately, spending their time in the middle, to judge the wicket rather than being aggressive and played out 68 balls in the first 20 overs without scoring.

India, though, managed to keep wickets in hand and posted 78/0 in 20 overs. Zimbabwe bowlers – Neville Madziva, Brian Vitori, Donald Tiripano – all were disciplined and were economical.

India skipper Ajinkya Rahane, looking to up the scoring rate, fell in the 26th over but only after building a strong foundation.

The Rahane-Vijay opening stand scored 112-runs for the first wicket. Zimbabwe sensed a chance at picking up wickets after breaking the opening stand.

Rahane’s wicket didn’t put a check on India’s scoring as Vijay kept on scoring freely but failed to reach his maiden ODI century as he was caught by substitute fielder Malcolm Waller at long-on off the bowling of Madziva.

India were comfortably placed at 159/2 in 33.3 overs when Vijay departed. His dismissal brought in Ambati Rayudu who set up India’s victory in the first ODI with a fine century.

Rayadu looked in good touch and looked set to to make another big score but fell untimely, scoring a knock of 41 runs from 50 balls.

After Rayudu’s departure, Manoj Tiwary (22), Robin Uthappa (13), Stuart Binny (25), Kedar Yadav (16), Axar Patel (1) all fell cheaply in trying to score quickly.

But their efforts contributed to help India cross the 270-run mark.

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