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Raina's fifty gives India easy win

Last updated on: June 13, 2010 19:32 IST

- Scorecard

Captain Suresh Raina led from the front with the bat with a quick half-century to help India crush Zimbabwe by seven wickets in the second and final Twenty20 international at in Harare, on Sunday.

Raina finished unbeaten on a quickfire 72 from 44 balls, inclusive of six boundaries and two sixes, as India cruised to 144 for three in 18 overs in reply to Zimbabwe's 140 for five.

The young Indian side registered a convincing 2-0 whitewash in the two-match series to end the tour on a high note following their debacle in the tri-series where they twice lost to minnows Zimbabwe and failed to qualify for the final.

Murali Vijay gave India a flying start with a brisk 46 from 39 balls before he was foxed by a slower delivery from Chamu Chibhabha and was caught at long-on. Vijay and Raina put India in control with a quick partnership of 79 runs in 58 deliveries for the second wicket.

Naman Ojha (10) was the first wicket to fall when he swept a full delivery from Ray Price straight into the arms of the fielder on the square leg boundary.

India also struggled to get going at the start as just four runs came from the first two overs before Murali Vijay broke the shackles. The India opener slammed Chris Mpofu across the line on the leg side for the first boundary of the innings and followed that by lofting a slower delivery over mid-on for a six, in the third over.

Veteran spinner Ray Price struck against the run of play with the wicket of Ojha to give Zimbabwe some hopes.

Raina got off the mark in some style when he drove Tendai Chatara through the covers for a boundary, while Vijay hit Greg Lamb over the mid-on region for his second six, in the next over.

The two batsmen seemed in complete control as they hit a six each in back to back overs to take the total to 89 for one after 12 overs.

Raina seemed in a hurry to finish off things as he slammed Price for a couple of boundaries in his third over to race to race to 45 from 29 balls, while Vijay also looked good on the same score from 37 deliveries.

Raina brought up his half-century off just 33 deliveries. in some style as he cracked a full delivery from Mpofu over long-off for his second six, in the 16th over.

Yusuf Pathan (4) fell towards the closing stages as he tried to end the match with a blaze, but got a top edge off Mpofu and was caught at mid-on.

Earlier, Tatenda Taibu's top-scored with a brisk 45 to help Zimbabwe recover and post a competitive 140 for five in their 20 overs. The former Zimbabwe captain dealt mainly in sweeps and reverse sweeps coupled with good running between the wickets, hitting just two boundaries in his 40-ball knock.

Pacer Ashok Dinda came up with the best bowling figures for India as he claimed two for 15 in his four overs, while Amit Mishra took one for 21 after they had elected to bowl on winning the toss.

Zimbabwe struggled at the start as they reached 47 for two after ten overs, but managed to end on a high as they smashed 66 runs in the last five overs for the loss of two wickets. The hosts were guilty of not rotating the strike in the initial overs as they had 48 dot balls in their innings.

Hamilton Masakadza was the first wicket to fall when he chipped Ashok Dinda straight to Rohit Sharma at mid-off after scoring two. Pragyan Ojha struck in his very first over when he bowled Justice Chibhabha for seven as he attempted to play the slog sweep across the line on the leg side.

Brendon Taylor led the recovery with a steady innings of 27 from 33 balls before he was brilliantly caught by Yusuf Pathan at mid-off as he attempted to hit Amit Mishra down the ground.

Chris Coventry provided the boost in the closing stages with a quickfire 28 from 13 balls, inclusive of three boundaries and two sixes, while captain Elton Chigumbura hit 18 from six balls with the help of two sixes.

R Ashwin struggled to keep the runs down in the death overs as he gave away 48 runs in his four overs, including 18 in his final over as Chigumbura hit him for two sixes and a boundary.

India lead the two-match series 1-0 following their six-wicket victory in the first match, on Saturday.