Kedar Jadhav blasted his highest score in Twenty20 Internationals as India beat Zimbabwe by three runs in a tense finish to claim the three-match series 2-1 at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe won the toss and chose to bowl first, restricting the tourists to 138 for six in their 20 overs on a slow wicket as Jadhav top-scored with 58 from 42 balls.
But the hosts battled to keep up with the scoring rate and went into the final over of the match, bowled by Barinder Sran (2-31), needing 21 for victory.
When the first two balls of the over went for 12 runs a sensational victory looked on the cards, but Sran came back well and bowled Elton Chigumbura (16) off the last delivery of the innings to leave Zimbabwe agonisingly short of a series victory.
It was the first time on Indiaâ€™s six-match limited overs tour that they batted first and, after starts for Lokesh Rahul (22) and Ambati Rayudu (20), Jadhav provided the impetus the innings desperately needed as he blazed seven fours and a six.
Indiaâ€™s opening bowlers restricted the run-rate well as Zimbabwe reached 59-2 at the halfway mark of their innings, with Sran going for just 14 in his first three overs and Dhawal Kulkarni ending with figures of 2-23 in his allotted four.
Vusi Sibanda (28 from 23 balls) top scored for the hosts as several batsmen made starts but could not match Jadhavâ€™s half-century heroics.
India also won 3-0 in the One-day International series that preceded the 20-over games.
K.L. Rahul b Madziva 22
Mandeep Singh c Maruma b Tiripano 4
A.T. Rayudu c Chigumbura b Cremer 20
M.K. Pandey run out 0
K.M. Jadhav c Chigumbura b Tiripano 58
M.S. Dhoni b Tiripano 9
A.R. Patel not out 20
D.S. Kulkarni not out 1
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-3) 4
TOTAL (for six wkts, 20 overs) 138
FALL OF WKTS: 1-20, 2-27, 3-27, 4-76, 5-93, 6-122.
DID NOT BAT: J.J. Bumrah, B.B. Sran, Y.S. Chahal.
BOWLING: Chatara 4-1-34-0; Tiripano 4-0-20-3; Madziva 4-0-32-1 (2w); Chibhabha 4-0-19-0 (1w); Cremer 4-0-32-1.
C.J. Chibhabha c Chahal b Sran 5
H. Masakadza lbw b Patel 15
V. Sibanda lbw b Kulkarni 28
P.J. Moor c Mandeep Singh b Chahal 26
M.N. Waller c Bumrah b Kulkarni 10
E. Chigumbura c Chahal b Sran 16
T. Maruma not out 23
EXTRAS (LB-8, W-3, NB-1) 12
TOTAL (for six wkts, 20 overs) 135
FALL OF WKTS: 1-17, 2-57, 3-60, 4-86, 5-104, 6-135.
DID NOT BAT: A.G. Cremer,
N. Madziva, D.T. Tiripano, T.L. Chatara.
BOWLING: Sran 4-1-31-2 (1nb, 3w); Kulkarni 4-0-23-2; Bumrah 4-0-23-0; Patel 4-0-18-1; Chahal 4-0-32-1.
RESULT: India won by three runs to win series 2-1.
UMPIRES: R.B. Tiffin (Zimbabwe) and T.J. Matibiri (Zimbabwe).
TV UMPIRE: L. Rusere (Zimbabwe).
MATCH REFEREE: R.B. Richardson (West Indies).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Kedar Jadhav.
MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: Barinder Sran.