India romp to victory
16 Sep 2005
By: Andrew Marmont
India took just under two hours on day four to take an innings victory over Zimbabwe in the first test at Bulawayo.
Irfan Pathan finished with nine wickets for the test to take the Man of the Match award.
The day began well for the home side. Andy Blignaut, who began in his innings very quietly, unleashed some powerful strokes all around the ground with the help of Tatenda Taibu. The pair added 43 in quick time, however it was simply delaying the inevitable.
Sourav Ganguly brought Anil Kumble on in tandem with Harbhajan Singh straight after the ineffectual opening burst from the seamers. Harbhajan struck after being hit for a couple of boundaries by Blignaut, sneaking through his defences in missing an attempted drive.
After reaching his second half-century of the match with an exquisite cover drive, Taibu received a bouncing, turning delivery from Kumble that brushed his gloves and was well caught by Dinesh Kartik at slip. Taibu's double of 71 not out and 52 demonstrate just how much Zimbabwe rely on him for runs. He is the one consistent element in an otherwise flagging side.
Keith Dabengwa had no answer to Harbhajan's doosra, which wrapped him straight in front on his back pad. Gavin Ewing and Blessing Mahwire then forged a partnership that defied the frustrated Indians. They put on 47 for the last wicket, the last five adding 167, before Ewing was adjudged leg-before for 34.
Despite the heavy defeat, Zimbabwe certainly moved a step forward from the mauling at the hands of New Zealand a month ago. Their first innings was a vast improvement, and their lower order demonstrated what their more esteemed batsmen could have achieved.
Tatenda Taibu 71no,
Irfan Pathan 5-58
VVS Laxman 140, Sourav Ganguly 101
Blessing Mahwire 4-92
Tatenda Taibu 52
Irfan Pathan 4-53, Harbhajan Singh 4-59
India won by an innings and 90 runs, leads series 1-0.
CricketWeb Player of the Match
Irfan Pathan (India): Match figures of 9-111