India defeated Zimbabwe by six wickets at Auckland on Saturday to match New Zealand, by becoming the second team in the tournament to win all their matches in the group stages. Although India won the game easily in the end, the numbers don’t reveal the fact that Zimbabwe actually ran India rather close in the match. Here’s a closer look at the stats that defined the India vs Zimbabwe game at Auckland.
India scored 288 to win the match against Zimbabwe. This is the highest total they have ever chased down successfully in the World Cup. This was also the highest total their bowlers have conceded so far in this edition of the World Cup.
In spite of the fact that their bowlers went for plenty in the match, they did maintain their record of bowling out opponents in each and every game to be played. Before this, the Indian bowling attack had cleaned up Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, UAE and Ireland as well.
Zimbabwe were 235 when they lost their fifth wicket in the 42nd over. They seemed set to reach 300, but faltered to lose their last five wickets for 52 runs, and were bowled out for 287 in 48.5 overs.
Zimbabwe finished with a healthy total of 287. 188 of them were scored by the pair of Brendan Taylor (138) and Sean Williams (50). This means the other nine batsmen only managed a paltry 99 among themselves.
There was a strange symmetry in the bowling for India as all three of their pacers Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma finished with three wickets each. Also, both the spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja conceded over 70 runs in their 10 overs, although Ashwin did claim a wicket while Jadeja went scalp-less.
The usually aggressive Shikhar Dhawan had a strike rate of 20 in the innings. He hit 20 balls for his 4, his only scoring shot was a boundary.
Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni added an unbeaten 196 runs for the fifth wicket. This is India’s best partnership while chasing in a World Cup, beating Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s 174 against Ireland a few days ago.
This was only the second half-century for Dhoni in World Cup cricket, the other one being the famous 91 not out against Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final at Mumbai.
During the course of his hundred, Taylor became the 9th batsman to score two consecutive World Cup hundreds. The full list features Mahmudullah, Kumar Sangakkara, Mark Waugh, Rahul Dravid, AB de Villiers, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Saeed Anwar.
With his hundred, Taylor also went past Neil Johnson as the Zimbabwean to score the most number of runs in a World Cup edition. He finished with 433 while Johnson made 367 in the 1999 edition.
During his hundred, Taylor also became the first from his country to score back-to-back World Cup hundreds. Andy Flower, Dave Houghton, Neil Johnson, and Craig Wishart are the only other Zimbabweans with two World Cup hundreds to their name.
Ashwin (1/75) finished with his most expensive one-day analysis. He had conceded 74 runs against Windies in 2011.
--By A Cricket Analyst