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Abhishek century guides India to T20 victory against Zimbabwe

Abhishek Sharma’s blazing 46-ball century propelled India to a resounding 100-run victory over Zimbabwe in the second Twenty20 international at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

In just his second international appearance, Sharma bounced back spectacularly from a debut duck the previous day, smashing eight sixes and seven fours on his way to a quickfire 100 in India’s imposing total of 234 for two.

Reflecting on his stellar performance, Sharma, named man of the match, credited his coaches and captain for their confidence in him. “It was a good performance after the defeat yesterday,” he remarked.

Sharma started aggressively, hitting a six off off-spinner Brian Bennett, who had dismissed him in the first match. He accelerated further, reaching his fifty with a six off medium-pacer Dion Myers, and then accelerated to his century with three consecutive sixes off left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza, only to be dismissed the very next ball, caught at backward point.

Admitting he felt fortunate after being dropped on the long-off boundary early in his innings, Sharma expressed faith in his abilities and his approach to batting. “I always believe in my ability. If it’s in my arc and even if it’s the first ball, I will go after it.”

Ruturaj Gaikwad (77 not out) and Rinku Singh (48 not out) further punished Zimbabwe’s bowlers, contributing to India’s commanding total, which surpassed the combined runs scored by both teams in the previous low-scoring encounter.

Zimbabwe, chasing a daunting target, faltered early, reduced to 46 for four after four overs, with seamers Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan claiming two wickets each. Despite a spirited 26 off nine balls from Bennett, Zimbabwe’s innings eventually folded for 134.

India’s captain, Shubman Gill, praised his young team’s resilience after the setback in the first match, attributing their improved performance to learning from the pressure they faced previously. He highlighted the youth and relative inexperience of his squad in international cricket but noted their ability to adapt and respond effectively.

Overall, India’s comprehensive victory marked a strong comeback, driven by Abhishek Sharma’s explosive batting display and a disciplined team effort that asserted their dominance in the series.

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