Raina slams ton as India beat Zimbabwe by 6 wkts

Auckland, Mar 14:

India's MS Dhoni hits a six watched by Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor during their Cricket World Cup match at Eden Park in Auckland, on Saturday. (UNI)
India’s MS Dhoni hits a six watched by Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor during their Cricket World Cup match at Eden Park in Auckland, on Saturday. (UNI)

Suresh Raina hit a rollicking century as India recovered from a top-order collapse to prevail over minnows Zimbabwe by six wickets, finishing their group league engagements with a clean slate in the Cricket World Cup here today.
Riding on Raina’s brilliant unbeaten 110 and an equally important 85 by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India overhauled commendable target of 288 in 48.4 overs, recording their highest run chase in a World Cup match.
The defending champions finished with an all-win record in their six Group-B league matches thereby stretching their number of successive victories in the tournament to 10 over two editions surpassing Clive Lloyd’s West Indies’ record which stretched from start of 1975 Prudential Cup to the first match of 1983 edition (losing to India at Old Trafford).
They only have Australia in front of them with 24 straight wins between 1999 and 2011 editions, a feat achieved under Ricky Ponting’s captaincy.
The defending champions will now meet neighbours Bangladesh in the quarter-final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 19.
India were in a spot of bother at 92 for four when skipper Dhoni joined Raina as the duo sealed the match with a defining unbeaten 196-run record stand for the fifth wicket off 156 balls.
Raina, who scored his fifth ODI ton had nine fours and four sixes, in his innings. There were the customary muscular heaves over deep mid-wicket region for sixes as were the delicate late cuts.
While the first 50 came off 67 balls, the next one took only 27 deliveries as the UP left-hander suddenly put his foot on the accelerator. The only blemish in his innings was a mistimed sweep off Sikandar Raza that was dropped by Hamilton Masakadza at short fine leg when he was on 47.
Dhoni again played the role of anchor to perfection pacing his innings with precision hitting eight boundaries and two sixes in 76 balls en route his 57th ODI half-century. (PTI)

SCOREBOARD
Zimbabwe innings:
Chibhabha c Dhawan b Mohammed Shami 7
Hamilton Masakadza c Dhoni b Yadav 2
Mire c Dhoni b Mohit Sharma 9
Brendan Taylor c Dhawan b Mohit Sharma 138
Sean Williams c & b Ashwin 50
Craig Ervine c & b Mohit Sharma 27
Sikandar Raza b Mohammed Shami 28
Regis Chakabva c Rohit Sharma b Yadav 10
Tinashe Panyangara c Yadav b Mohammed Shami 6
Tawanda Mupariwa not out 1
Tendai Chatara b Yadav 0
Extras (lb 2, w 7) 9
Total (all out; 48.5 overs) 287 (5.87 runs per over)
Bowling: Mohammed Shami 9-2-48-3, Umesh Yadav 9.5-1-43-3, Mohit Sharma 10-1-48-3, Ravichandran Ashwin 10-0-75-1, Ravindra Jadeja 10-0-71-0.
India innings:
Rohit Sharma c Sikandar b Panyangara 16
Shikhar Dhawan b Panyangara 4
Virat Kohli b Sikandar 38
Ajinkya Rahane run out 19
Suresh Raina not out 110
Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out 85
Extras: (B-1, LB-2, W-12, NB-1) 16
Total: for 4 wickets in 48.4 overs 288
Bowling: Panyangara 8.4-1-53-2, Chatara 10-1-59-0, Mupariwa 10-0-61-0, Mire 5-0-29-0, Williams 5-0-31-0, Sikandar Raza 8-0-37-1, Masakadza 2-0-15-0.

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