India clinched the three-match ODI series with a convincing five-wicket win after a clinical bowling performance helped restrict Zimbabwe to just 161.
In the chase, which India finished with nearly half an innings to spare, they were dented at regular intervals but never under pressure despite the early dismissal of KL Rahul for 5.
After Rahul fell Lbw to Victor Nyauchi in the second over, the chase was driven forward by the half-centurions from the first game, Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill. The former played the role of an aggressor, hitting four boundaries in his 21-ball 33 before falling to a short ball from Tanaka Chivanga. Gill then took centerstage in a 36-run association with Ishan Kishan, who managed only 6 before he dragged on one from Luke Jongwe. The bowler soon accounted for Gill too, having him caught at third man off an attempted cut.
From 97/4, India were powered on by a quickfire 56-run stand between Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson. While the former was yorked by Sikandar Raza with victory in sight, Samson finished off the chase with his fourth six to remain unbeaten on 43.
The chase complemented a fine bowling performance earlier where the tone was set by a miserly opening spell from Mohammad Siraj and Prasidh Krishna. The openers were constantly challenged over the first eight overs that saw only 20 runs come by. Takudzwanashe Kaitando finally got an outside edge that was smartly held by Sanju Samson diving to his right, as Siraj opened the sluice gates.
The tidy opening spell also helped pay dividends as the first change Shardul Thakur, who replaced Deepak Chahar, struck twice in the 12th over. After battling for 27 balls for his 16, Innocent Kaia gloved a short ball down the legside to the keeper while skipper Regis Chakabva got a regulation outside edge to second slip in the same over.
Zimbabwe lost their fourth wicket for eleven runs when Prasidh had Wesley Madhevere caught with the help of some extra bounce in the next over.
Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza stitched together a 41-run stand that arrested the slide before the latter fell cutting Kuldeep Yadav. Williams chanced his arm in a run-a-ball 42 before he swept Deepak Hooda down to deep square leg.
Ryan Burl’s 39 helped the lower order take the total past 150 even as wickets tumbled at the other end. He remained unbeaten even as Zimbabwe lost their last three wickets in the space of 13 balls to fold for a meagre 161.
Zimbabwe 161 all out (Sean Williams 42, Ryan Burl 39; Shardul Thakur 3-38).
India 167/5 in 25.4 ov (Sanju Samson 43*; Luke Jongwe 2-33).