India hammers Zimbabwe for series whitewash
by AFP

Ground:Harare Sports Club, Harare
Player:H Masakadza, IK Pathan, AM Blignaut, A Kumble
Event:India in Zimbabwe 2005/06

DateLine: 22nd September 2005


India, inspired by Irfan Pathan's match haul of 12-126, hammered Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the second and final Test at Harare Sports Club here Thursday to win the series 2-0.


In losing, a hopelessly outclassed Zimbabwean outfit could at least take some pleasure in breaking a sequence of five innings defeats in succession on home soil.


Set to make 205 runs for this purpose, Zimbabwe made 223 in their second innings, leaving India a paltry 19 runs to get to seal victory.


This they did in just 2.2 overs.


Pathan was deservedly named both man of the match and the series after his record-equalling haul of 21 wickets in the two Tests.


The previous 21-wicket takers in a two-test series were Anil Kumble against Pakistan in 1999, and Johnny Briggs for England against South Africa back in


Pathan also took five wicket hauls three times, only missing out on a fourth when he took four in Zimbabwe's second innings at Bulawayo last week.


All-rounder Andy Blignaut at least provided the home support with something to cheer about, blasting a breezy 84 not out off 93 balls after coming to the crease with Zimbabwe at a precarious 85-6.


Blignaut survived five dropped catches during his innings but that did not detract from the invaluable 116-run partnership he put on for the seventh wicket with Hamilton Mazakadsa, who eventually fell lbw to Pathan for 71.


Blignaut lifted Anil Kumble right out of the ground for two sixes in three balls, the second one being lost somewhere in a car park and needed to be replaced.


From a starting point of 39-4 overnight Zimbabwe's task was ominous and when Heath Streak edged Zaheer Khan to slip during the second over of the morning, the writing seemed to be on the wall.


Replacement Charles Coventry was stopped in full flow when he gave a slow-ball catch to Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly off Pathan after making 25.


India needed only seven of the 12 available sessions to beat Zimbabwe.


Zimbabwe scored 161 in their first innings and India replied with 366. This left Zimbabwe 206 runs to make India bat again.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)