India 4-230 (Virat Kohli 115, Ambati Rayudu 63*, Prosper Utseya 2-34) beat Zimbabwe 7-228 (Sikandar Raza 82, Elton Chigumbura 43*, Amit Mishra 3-43) by six wickets.
The Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, made things easy for his team by hammering a smooth ton as Ambati Rayudu assisted him well vs. Zimbabwe who lost the first ODI.
Zimbabwe scored 228 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the measured 50 overs and India achieved the target while piling up 4-230 with 31 balls still in hand.
Virat Kohli (India) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his superb knock of 115 from 108 mere balls.
The first One Day International of the five match series was played on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, at Harare Sports Club.
Earlier, Virat Kohli, the skipper of India, won the toss and preferred to chase. Vusi Sibanda and Sikandar Raza opened the innings for the home side in a slow mode by scoring just 27 runs in 10 overs with two fours. They added 4 fours in the following overs as Sikandar Raza was dropped at 28 by Kohli at first slip off Ravindra Jadeja in the 19th one. The first wicket stand provided a solid stand of 72 in 21.5 overs as Vusi Sibanda was declared leg before wicket for 34 runs.
Sikandar Raza secured his end while adding useful runs and attained his maiden ODI fifty in the 32nd over. The middle order batsmen were unable to utilise the solid opening partnership and the wickets kept on falling at regular intervals. The hosts lost their fifth wicket at 166 after 40.1 overs when Elton Chigumbura appeared in the park next. Sikandar Raza tried to boost up the run rate by hitting a couple of sixes but was clean bowled by Amit Mishra for 82 off 112 balls with 2 big sixes and 6 fours. Elton Chigumbura remained unbeaten for 43 off just 34 deliveries with 1 six and 6 fours as Zimbabwe reached 228 in 50 overs with three wickets remaining.
Amit Mishra was the highest wicket taker with three wickets whereas Vinay Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadakt and Suresh Raina shared one wicket each.
Rohit Sharma along with Shikhar Dhawan started off nicely for India and scored 26 runs in six overs. The latter was caught by Malcolm Waller at deep fine leg off Kyle Jarvis for 17 as Virat Kohli joined in with Sharma. They took the score to 57 when Rohit Sharma was caught behind by the Zimbabwe captain, Brendan Taylor, off Elton Chigumbura for 20. Ambati Rayudu associated with Kohli who was sending the ball out of the fence frequently. The score went past the hundred runs mark in the 23rd over and Virat Kohli got his 24th ODI half century two overs later with a four.
The duo got well settled and kept on enhancing the score without facing any difficulties during the chase. Virat Kohli was the most aggressive of the two and his blade was showering the boundaries at will. Ambati Rayudu dispatched his maiden ODI fifty in the 39th over and Virat Kohli smashed his 15th limited overs hundred in the next one. The Blue Shirts leader punished Tinotenda for 19 runs with 1 six and 3 fours and was finally gone for 115 off just 108 balls with 1 six and 13 fours. Ambati Rayudu was still at the crease with 63 off 84 comprising 4 fours as the visitors powered 230 after losing four wickets in 44.5 overs.
Prosper Utseya was the top wicket taker with two whereas Kyle Jarvis and Elton Chigumbura held one wicket each.
India grasped the opening One Day International with a huge margin of six wickets and leads the five match series 1-0. The second game will be played at the same venue on July 26, 2013.