India beat Zimbabwe by 7 wickets

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India have won the third one dayer of the VB Tri-Series against Zimbabwe at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart today by 7 wickets.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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India have won the third one dayer of the VB Tri-Series against Zimbabwe at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart today by 7 wickets. Chasing 209 for victory, India reached their target in 37.4 overs after a winning boundary hit by skipper Sourav Ganguly took India to 211. Virender Sehwag was adjudged the Man of the Match. After an opening partnership which took the score across 121, India lost their first wicket, Sachin Tendulkar, bowled by Sean Ervine in the 24th over. Sehwag blasts Africans Virender Sehwag went on to score an impressive innings, hitting the African bowlers with five sixers and five boundaries. Sehwag scored 90 but was caught by Grant Flower trying to hit Raymond Price after two sixes in the same over. Having lost two wickets, India suffered their third blow when Hemang Badani, trying to hit Douglas Hondo, nicked the ball and was caught by wicketkeeper Tatendu Taibu. So far, both teams have played and lost their only game to Australia. Earlier, Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak won the toss and elected to bat against India, but suffered early losses. Ervine, Streak strike A 93-run unbroken partnership for the seventh wicket between captain Heath Streak and allrounder Sean Ervine helped Zimbabwe post 208. Streak remained unbeaten on 59 while the left-handed Ervine was not out on 48 from only 33 balls. The duo helped Zimbabwe make a dramatic recovery after, electing to bat, they had slid to 115 for six on a perfect batting track at the Bellerive Oval. Streak, dropped by Yuvraj Singh at point early in his innings, made the most of the reprieve to carve out his 11th one-day international half-century. Ervine shines But Ervine's improvisation in the final overs was more instrumental in propping up Zimbabwe's total. He first played an inside out shot to lift part-time bowler Hemang Badani over the cover boundary. That Badani over cost India 14 runs. After Kumble conceded 13 in the 47th over, Ervine clubbed two sixes off Agarkar who was even expensive in giving away 20 runs. Streak reached his fifty in the same over with a thundering strike to the midwicket fence. That stroke also brought up the 200 which had looked improbable at one stage. Zimbabwe's third fifth came off 56 balls and the fourth from only 29 as the Africans piled 100 runs in the last 14 overs. Streak's 59 came off 68 balls and contained four fours while Ervine needed only 33 balls for his 48 which was studded with three sixes and a four. Disastrous start But Zimbabwe had a disastrous start when they lost Vusi Sibanda run out and Stuart Matsikenyeri to Irfan Pathan for 36. Streak had expected a better performance from his batsmen after they were all out for 126 against Australia at Sydney on Sunday. But their top order continued to crumble as Mark Vermeulen was once again broken through the defence by a Kumble top spinner. Stuart Carlisle was adjudged leg before to Sehwag before the experienced Grant Flower got out to a poor shot when he spooned a simple catch to the part-time bowler. Once again it was Tatenda Taibu and Streak on whom Zimbabwe's fortunes depended. The two had added 66-runs for the sixth wicket while losing to Australia but their burgeoning partnership today was cut short when Badani rattled Taibu with a faster one. Ervine and Streak then were left with the difficult job of reviving the tattered innings but the two mixed their shots well to pick singles as well as boundaries. Teams: India: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Hemang Badani, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Laxmipathy Balaji, Irfan Pathan. Zimbabwe: Heath Streak (captain),Vusi Sibanda, Stuart Carlisle, Mark Vermeulen, Grant Flower, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tatenda Taibu, Sean Ervine, Andy Blignaut, Raymond Price and Douglas Hondo.
(With PTI inputs)

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