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Shubman Gill's maiden ODI century earns India win over Zimbabwe

Shubman Gill recorded a maiden ODI century to earn India a 13-run victory and a 3-0 sweep against Zimbabwe on Monday at Harare Sports Club.

Gill became the fourth Indian to score his first ODI century in Zimbabwe, joining Rohit Sharma, Kedar Jadhav, and KL Rahul.

Gill, who won the Player of the Series award for scoring 245 runs in three matches, lead India to a score of 289 for the loss of eight wickets.

“Special feeling. Going to cherish this one," Gill said on Social media. "I was just trying to minimise my dot ball percentage. I tried to hit the gaps as much as possible.

"When I went in, there were a couple of bowlers bowling good. It was crucial to get through that. Once we were settled, we knew we could attack. The bat was pretty good. That's why I changed it after my 50, I wanted to save it. It feels great, great bunch of players."

After the game, Men in Blue captain KL Rahul praised Gill's performance, saying "He's been batting well since the IPL."

"Not seen him over-confident. That requires composure, to show that kind of temperament is good," Rahul continued.

The match

Indian batters struggled at the plate as the team lost its openers early in the game.

Gill then entered the crease and pummeled Zimbabwe's bowlers all over the field to achieve his first century (130) in 97 deliveries.

Zimbabwe got off to a good start, with Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Innocent Kaia chasing a 290-point goal.

Deepak Chahar's excellent bowling, however, proved too much for the pair, and Kaia was dismissed for six runs.

Kaitano's innings were cut short due to injury, and Tony Munyonga came in to replace him.

Sean Williams and Munyonga passed the 50-run mark, with Munyonga blasting two fours during Deepak Hooda's spell.

Axar Patel first caught Williams' plumb with a dart for 45 before Munyonga mistimed a lofted drive to wide mid-off off Avesh, leaving Zimbabwe trailing by 84.

Axar struck again, just past the halfway point of the chase, with a sharp return catch to his left, sending Chakabva back.

The returning Kaitano was confused by Kuldeep Yadav seven balls later, leaving the chase on Raza's shoulders, with the asking rate past 7.5.

Raza decided to go after the quicks instead of the spinners while the conditions were still in his team's favour.

When Team India was battering, Raza reached his fifty-first run in 61 deliveries. In the 39th over, Raza hammered Shardul Thakur for 20 runs in six deliveries.

The Chevrons' chances of winning were increased when Brad Evans and Raza scored fifty runs together. After the 44th over, the target was reduced to 64 runs in 42 balls.

Raza went on to score a century against the Men in Blue in 88 deliveries. Thakur removed Raza from the game after 115 runs in 95 balls.

Avesh Khan dismissed Victor Nyauchi in the final over, allowing India to defeat the hosts by 13 runs and claim a 3-0 sweep in the three-match ODI series.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.