By Leslie Xavier
in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)
The mismatch was all too evident at the Queens Sports Club here. Even a domestic side from India could have gotten the better of Zimbabwe, judging by the way they folded in the fourth ODI against the visiting young side. Perhaps the hosts, after losing the series, are giving up the fight in the mind and throwing in the towel even before the first ball. They could only muster a mere 144 in just 42.4 overs in the fourth ODI here after Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and asked them to bat. Suresh Raina wriggled out of his rough patch with an half century (65 not out), and, alongside Rohit Sharma (64 n.o.) chased the target in 30.2 overs—a nine-wicket victory.
The fixture, however, will be remembered for its Man of the Match—Mohit Sharma, who was making his one-day international debut for India. The Haryana bower bowl with discipline for his 2-26 runs from ten overs, scalping Zimbabwe opener Sikandar Raza and Malcolm Waller (35 runs), who, alongside Elton Chigumbura (50) had helped the hosts cross the 100-run mark.
The Indian bowlers had the game under the control right at the world go as the hosts were reduced to 48 for 5 at one point before Waller and Chigumbura combined to stem the rot though temporarily.
Mohit said he was confident and keen to make a mark in his debut match but insisted he was never under pressure or in trouble in the blustery and cold conditions at the Queens. But he never imagined he would be getting a Man of the Match award. The 25-year-old Chennai Super Kings player said he owes his confidence to M.S. Dhoni, who skippered him during the IPL.