2nd T20I: Ton-up Abhishek Sharma stars as India hammer Zimbabwe for series-levelling win | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Rising star Abhishek Sharma made a stunning impact with a 46-ball maiden ton as India hammered Zimbabwe by 100 runs in the second T20I in Harare on Sunday, leveling the series at 1-1.
Taking a perfect revenge of a shock loss on Saturday, India handed Zimbabwe their joint second worst defeat after an all-round show led by Abhishek.
Making a solid recovery from a surprising 13-run loss in the opener, India made reached 234 for two with Abhishek’s dazzling 100-run knock, which featured eight sixes and seven fours.The formidable score was achieved on the same surface where batting wasn’t particularly easy.
Indian bowlers then bowled out Zimbabwe to 134 runs in 18.4 overs, with Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan dismantling Zimbabwe’s top order in the Powerplay, effectively sealing the contest early.

Abhishek, with his balance of grace and power, stole the show. His innings included eight sixes and seven fours, making Ruturaj Gaikwad’s supportive but impressive 77 not out off 47 balls seem subdued in comparison.
Their 137-run partnership for the second wicket was key as India amassed a gigantic total.

Gaikwad, during the mid-innings break, admitted having difficulty feeling set on the pitch, contrasting sharply with Abhishek, who appeared unfazed despite his debut disappointment of a duck. Abhishek never looked under pressure on the track which his senior partner and current CSK skipper Gaikwad found it a bit ‘difficult’.
As It Happened
Abhishek also had a lucky escape when Wellington Masakadza dropped him at 27 off a ball from Luke Jongwe. He capitalized on this reprieve, pulling a six off Brian Bennett to start his scoring spree. His fifty came with another pulled six off Dion Myers, who conceded 28 runs in a single over, opening the floodgates for the Indian innings.
Among Abhishek’s numerous impressive shots, one inside-out six off rival skipper Sikandar Raza particularly stood out. He lofted Raza’s off-break over the extra cover boundary with finesse.
Abhishek’s inning was a combination of elegance and brute power. He got to his milestone hundred with three back-to-back sixes against Masakadza. Upon returning to the dugout after his dismissal on the next ball post his century, Abhishek was congratulated by skipper Shubman Gill, who had another underwhelming performance.
Meanwhile, Gaikwad continued where Abhishek left off, forming an 87-run partnership off 36 balls with Rinku Singh, who impressed with 48 not out off 22 balls, including five sixes.
The total of 234 for two is India’s highest against Zimbabwe in T20 Internationals, surpassing their previous best of 186. This score was a significant comeback following an unexpected batting collapse in the first game.
Zimbabwe tried to fight back, but Indian pacers Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan delivered decisive blows. Mukesh took out two batsmen with back-of-the-length off-cutters, while Avesh stunned opposition skipper Sikandar Raza with a bouncer. Ravi Bishnoi and Washington Sundar then sealed Zimbabwe’s fate with regular wickets in middle over.

With the series now tied at 1-1, speculations arise about possible team changes for the upcoming match on July 10. Sanju Samson is expected to replace Dhruv Jurel behind the stumps, Shivam Dube may take over from Sai Sudharsan, and Riyan Parag might be replaced by Yashasvi Jaiswal.
Abhishek’s performance positions him firmly in the playing XI, raising selection dilemmas for skipper Gill and stand-in coach VVS Laxman.

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