1st ODI: India v Zimbabwe at Faridabad, 7 Mar 2002
Santhosh S

India innings: 25 Overs, 50 Overs,
Pre-game: Toss,
Zimbabwe innings: 25 Overs, End of match,

Douglas Marillier has done the incredible here in Faridabad. An exhilarating unbeaten knock of 56* off just 24 balls, smashing 10 boundaries and a six, helped Zimbabwe to a stunning one-wicket win with two balls to spare. He fashioned it playing a peculiar shot, scooping the ball over the wicket-keeper's head for boundaries, and perhaps adding a new term to the cricket vocabulary - 'Dougie shot'.

Marillier struck two priceless fours in the final over to snatch what looked like an improbable win at one stage. Coming in to bat in the 45th over with the score at 210/8, Marillier stole the thunder and was duly named the Man of the Match for his heroics. With ten runs required off the final over bowled by Kumble, Marillier and Brent were celebrating the win with two balls to spare.

Earlier, Sourav Ganguly brought himself into the attack in the 26th over and Andy Flower greeted him by hitting the biggest six of the day, a long way over mid-wicket. Flower swept Kumble very fine for four and off the very next ball dragged one ball from outside the off to disturb the woodwork. That brought about a sad end to a brilliant Andy Flower knock of 71 off 72 balls, including two sixes and eight boundaries.

The third wicket partnership between Campbell and Andy Flower yielded 111 runs in 22.1 overs. Zimbabwe skipper Stuart Carlisle joined Campbell in the middle and put together another vital partnership of 53 runs for the fourth wicket. In the meanwhile, Campbell reached a well deserved half-century off 74 balls. Campbell was running into some tremendous form by picking boundaries off Ganguly, Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.

Ganguly brought in Zaheer Khan to break the partnership and the left-arm speedster obliged by removing Carlisle (23 off 27 balls). Zaheer Khan, then, claimed the prize wicket, his fourth off the innings, when he had Campbell leg before with the first ball of the 39th over. Campbell made 84 off 113 balls and hit seven strokes past the ropes.

With the pressure building up, Grant Flower (2) tapped an easy return catch to Harbhajan Singh. Zimbabwe were 198/6 after 40 overs. With Sanjay Bangar getting the ball to reverse swing at one end, Harbhajan Singh got his second wicket in the space of four balls, removing Streak (1). The Zimbabwe vice-captain was caught off the leading edge by Ganguly at mid-off.

Douglas Marillier took the bowling by the scruff of the neck and punished the ball all around. Unleashing a string of improvised shots, he picked up boundaries at will. After picking a couple of boundaries off Kumble, he collected as many as 20 runs off Zaheer Khan ninth over, including a massive six. There were a couple of cheeky shots to the fine leg fence, which left the speedster in utter dismay.

Tatenda Taibu made right off 16 balls and helped Marillier add 42 runs in just 3.2 overs. The young wicket-keeper was almost cruelly given out caught behind off Bangar. Ajay Ratra's appeal was only to prevent the obvious wide call and the umpire raised the finger; a very poor decision at a crucial time.

Off the 49th over bowled by Zaheer Khan, Marillier was at it again, scooping the ball over wicket-keeper's head for four. Marillier played the 'Dougie' shot twice in the over with the ball going on the bounce past the ropes.

Andy Flower 58* (65b 7x4 1x6) and Alistair Campbell 48* (72b 4x4) have so far put together a third wicket partnership of 96 runs off 20.5 overs to rescue Zimbabwe from a precarious position of 21/2. The visitors are 117/2 after 25 overs, still 158 runs away from victory.

Chasing a target of 275 in 50 overs, Zimbabwe got off to an inauspicious start. Craig Wishart (1) was cleaned up off the last ball of the first over, the fast delivery from Zaheer Khan sending the off stump cart wheeling.

Travis Friend was penciled in as the pinch hitter by the team management much before the start of the match. All Friend could manage was a four off Agarkar through extra cover. Getting carried away with his new role, Friend (7) managed to get an inside edge and the ball shot off the pads to disturb the stumps. Zaheer Khan had dealt two big blows to have Zimbabwe struggling at 21/2 at the start of the fifth over.

The dismissal of Friend brought together the two most senior Zimbabwe batsmen, Alistair Campbell and Andy Flower. The two left-handed batsmen were severe on Agarkar, scoring boundaries with ease. Agarkar gave away 35 runs off his first spell of six overs.

Andy Flower welcomed the introduction of Harbhajan Singh into the attack by playing two powerful sweeps past the ropes, the first shot clearing the ropes for a six.

Andy Campbell turned his attention to Sanjay Bangar, scoring consecutive fours off the medium pacer. Andy Flower’s ability to play spin is well renowned and he plays the reverse sweep to perfection. Harbhajan Singh found out that Flower still loves to play both versions of the sweep shots to perfection.

Andy Flower got to his fifty off just 58 balls with the help of six boundaries and a six.

A whirlwind knock of 40 off just 19 balls by Ajit Agarkar propelled India to 274/6 in the stipulated 50 overs against Zimbabwe at Faridabad. India had lost its way by losing three quick wickets and did not look like getting to a score of even 250. Mohammad Kaif made 39* off 45 balls and, with Agarkar, added 63 brisk runs in just 6.2 overs.

Agarkar smashed six boundaries and a huge six in making those valuable 40 runs. Kaif's played the supporting role to perfection, striking four boundaries.

After being in the commanding position of 136/2 at the end of 25 overs, India found themselves in deep trouble at 211/6 in the 44th over. This came about due to a mixture of intelligent cricket from Zimbabwe and some poor running between the wickets that hurt India's cause.

Rahul Dravid (23 off 34 balls) was the third wicket to fall, trapped leg-before by Grant Flower in the 34th over with the Indian score on 171. Flower bowled extremely well, keeping things tight to finish with the figures of 10-0-31-1.

VVS Laxman played a very good knock of 75 off 99 balls, with five fours. He was unlucky to get out after Kaif sent him back, only to be run out by Dion Ebrahim.

There were further successes for Zimbabwe as Sanjay Bangar (0) was brilliantly caught by Travis Friend off Heath Streak at mid-off. Ajay Ratra (6) was also run out, going for a single off a misfield by Andy Flower and finding himself short of the crease at the bowler's end.

Agarkar walked in and was in murderous mood, singling out Brent's medium pace and hitting five boundaries off him. Streak too was not spared, taken for a boundary and a huge six over mid-wicket. Kaif also helped the scoring rate along by picking consecutive boundaries off a very expensive Friend (10-0-68-0)

Streak was the most successful bowler for Zimbabwe, picking 2/53 from his 10 overs.

A brilliant knock of 57 by the Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and an unbeaten 42 (52 balls, 5 fours) by VVS Laxman has helped India to 136/2 after 25 overs in the first ODI against Zimbabwe being played at Faridabad. Rahul Dravid is unbeaten on six.

India got off to a flying start as Dinesh Mongia and Sourav Ganguly smashed five boundaries off Travis friend in the first few overs. The Indian skipper was in a buoyant mood, smacking a six off Heath Streak, ball sailing over long on.

India lost Dinesh Mongia (25) in the ninth over to Streak, playing away from the body, the inside edge was neatly taken by Tatenda Taibu. The young Zimbabwe keeper made it all look so easy with some nimble footwork. Mongia struck four boundaries facing just 24 balls.

VVS Laxman walked in to bat with the burden of having to prove himself all over. There were no signs of nervousness as he caressed one boundary through the covers before following it up with the wristy-trademark-whip to the mid-wicket fence off the bowling of Streak.

Laxman and Ganguly kept finding the ropes off the bowling of Gary Brent and Douglas Marillier to keep the scoreboard ticking over at a good pace. Ganguly raced to his fifty off 63 balls to confirm that he is back in form. Then came the big lofted shot over long-on that sailed all the way for a huge six off Marillier.

Marillier had his revenge soon; a brilliant piece of stumping by Taibu put an end to Ganguly's brilliant knock. Ganguly made 57 off 70 balls, striking two sixes and half a dozen boundaries. Rahul Dravid came out to bat and hit a sweetly timed cover drive for four.

Sourav Ganguly had better luck with the toss and elected to bat first in the first one-day international against Zimbabwe at the Nahar Singh Stadium in Faridabad. Ganguly and Dinesh Mongia are the opening batsmen as India are without the services of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.

The pitch looks firm and hard with a fair bit of grass rolled into it. There must be runs galore today. As expected, India has left out Tinu Yohannan, SS Das and Sarandeep Singh.

The teams are as follows:

India: SC Ganguly (C), D Mongia, VVS Laxman, R Dravid, SB Bangar, M Kaif, +A Ratra, A Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, AB Agarkar.

Zimbabwe: Alistair Campbell, Craig Wishart, Travis Friend, Andy Flower, Dion Ebrahim, Grant Flower, Stuart Carlisle (C), Heath Streak, Tatenda Taibu, Douglas Marillier, Gary Brent, Douglas Hondo (12th Man)

Umpires: SK Porel and I Sivaram, TV Umpire: SJ Phadkar, Match Referee: JR Reid (NZ)

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Date-stamped : 07 Mar2002 - 18:43