Gill, Gaikwad push India to 182/4 against Zimbabwe in 3rd T20

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Shubman Gill's fifty

Harare: Stroke-filled innings from Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad fuelled India to 182 for four against Zimbabwe in the third T20 here on Wednesday.

Opting to bat on a fresh pitch, Gill-led India made some interesting selection calls. They duly brought in World Cup winners Jaiswal (36 off 27), Sanju Samson (12 not out off 7) and Shivam Dube into the playing eleven, leaving out the likes of Riyan Parag in the middle order.

Sanju came to bat at number five with four specialist openers Jaiswal, Gill (66 off 49), Abhishek Sharma (10 off 9) and Gaikwad (49 off 28) occupying the top four positions respectively.

Jaiswal, who did not get a game in India's triumphant campaign in the T20 World Cup, was happy to be back in the middle and went for his shots from the get go.

The southpaw collected couple of fours and a six over deep-midwicket in the opening over bowled by off-spinner Brian Bennett to set the tone.

Gill began with a gorgeous on drive off left-arm pacer Richard Ngarava before pulling him for a six over fine-leg.

Zimbabwe were poor in the field to say the least, conceding extra runs and grassing regulation catches throughout the innings. Pacer Blessing Muzarabani (2/25) once again got the extra bounce from length and was the pick of the bowlers.

After racing to 49 for no loss in four overs, India could not maintain that tempo reaching 55 in the powerplay with both openers in the centre.

Zimbabwe skipper Sikandar Raza, who impressed again with the ball, got the breakthrough for his team as Jaiswal's reverse sweep went straight into the hands of the fielder at backward point. Last game's centurion Abhishek did not last long and was holed out in the deep off Raza.

Gaikwad, finding himself at an unusual batting position, was able to milk the spinners in the middle overs and ended with four boundaries and three sixes.