Zimbabwe’s batting struggles continue as India takes unassailable 2-0 lead

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India cricket team players celebrate after claiming a wicket during the second ODI against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club on Saturday

Zimbabwe’s batting frailties were yet again ruthlessly exposed by a relentless and classy India bowling attack as the tourists registered a five-wicket win in the second ODI to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

After losing the toss again and being sent in to bat first, the home batsmen were even more inept in being bundled out for 161 runs inside 38.1 overs, 28 runs less than their total in the first ODI two days earlier.

Seamer Shardul Thakur led the rout with three wickets for 38 runs to dent the hosts’ batting line-up at regular intervals as they bundled out for another low score.

Following their struggles in the 10-wicket loss in the first match on Thursday, Zimbabwe tried to build a more stable platform after predictably being put in to bat.

However, the dismissal of Takudzwanashe Kaitano for seven runs by Mohammed Siraj after an opening stand of 20 in the eighth over triggered the slide which saw them crashing to 72 for five in the 21st over.

Sean Williams top scorered for Zimbabwe with a run-a-ball 42, while Ryan Burl was left stranded not out on 39 at the end of the innings.

Sean Williams top scored for the hosts with 42 runs

The only other notable contributions came from Sikandar Raza and opener Innocent Kaia who managed identical scores of 16 while the other seven batters failed to reach double figures.

In reply, India chased down the winning target in 25.4 overs despite losing five wickets along the way as Zimbabwe’s bowlers put on a better display.

India lost captain KL Rahul (1) early in their reply, while the heroes from the first game, Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill, both scored 33 but could not repeat their unbeaten half-centuries from two days earlier.

Deepak Hooda (25) and Sanju Samson (43 not out) put on 56 for the fifth wicket to see India to within sight of their target.

It was Samson who finished it off in style with a maximum. The victory was India’s 14th straight win over Zimbabwe in ODIs to stamp authority over them.

The third and final ODI will be played at the same venue on Monday.

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