T20I: Axar, Harbhajan spin India to 54-run win over Zimbabwe


In an all-round performance, India beat Zimbabwe by 54 runs at Harare on Friday in the first T20 international of the two-match series. Spinners Axar Patel and Harbhajan Singh dominated the show.

After opting to bat first, India set an imposing 179-run target for the hosts as captain Ajinkya Rahane (33), Murali Vijay (34) and Robin Uthappa (39 not out) all scored runs quickly.

Although Zimbabwe got off to a promising start in reply, T20 debutant Axar and Harbhajan put the brakes on the run-scoring and created plenty of problems for the opposition.

Axar finished with figures of 3-17 while Harbhajan took four wickets for 29 runs in his four overs. Zimbabwe were restricted to 124/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

Hamilton Masakadza was the top-scorer for the hosts with 28 runs off 24 balls.

India will face Zimbabwe in the second and final T20I on Sunday at the same venue.