Rayudu shows Zimbabwe the way

Mandeep Singh was reprieved more than once on his way to his maiden T20I fifty AFP

Heaves of fortune

Mandeep Singh picked up a good length ball from Chamu Chibhabha early and laid into it with a pull shot. However, he did not get the required elevation or distance and the ball went straight to deep square leg. Donald Tiripano, stationed a few feet inside the boundary, reverse cupped his hands and set himself for the catch, but the ball bounced off them and carried over the ropes.

Earlier in the innings, Mandeep had got a leading edge that went swirling towards backward square leg. Taurai Muzarabani ran back from short fine leg. Malcolm Waller scurried across from deep square leg. The ball hung in the air for eternity and though both fielders got within reach, neither one called for the catch and the ball plonked in between them.

Rayudu shows the way

Ambati Rayudu's efforts showed the disparity in fielding between the two sides. First, Chibhabha, deceived by a slower ball from Barinder Sran, heaved it towards long-on. Rayudu backtracked from mid-on, eyes firmly on the ball, and completed a splendid catch over his shoulder. A few overs later, Peter Moor mowed Axar Patel to the right of long-on. Rayudu, this time stationed on the boundary, sprinted towards the ball and seemed to have taken another good catch, but recognising he was too close to the ropes, he let go of the ball and prevented Zimbabwe from getting a six.

Fortuitous planning

Sikandar Raza had steered his first ball towards third man to get a single. MS Dhoni immediately employed a wide slip to stop Raza from rotating strike in that region. The move worked even better than expected. Sran angled one away from the right-hander, who promptly opened the face in search of a single and instead realised he had glided the ball straight to KL Rahul.

Umpire Tiffin's continuing struggles

In the previous match, umpire Russell Tiffin had contentiously awarded India an extra run by signalling a wide that wasn't in the 20th over. Another substandard decision on Monday left Zimbabwe in a situation they couldn't dig themselves out of. Tinotenda Mutombodzi, facing his first delivery, missed a flick off Sran and was rapped on the pads in front of off stump. However, not only did it appear that the ball was heading over the stumps, it had also pitched outside leg.