Deepak Chahar makes winning comeback as India overpower Zimbabwe in first ODI

Openers Dhawan and Gill hit fifties in 10-wicket win while chasing 189 on Thursday

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Seamer Deepak Chahar returned to the Indian team with a bang as he picked up three early wickets to help set up victory over Zimbabwe in the first ODI in Harare on Thursday.

The right arm pacer was sidelined for most of the year after first picking up a quadriceps injury before hurting his back. He missed the IPL and saw other bowlers moved ahead of him in white-ball cricket, reducing his chances of impressing the selectors ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia - a tournament he was earlier expected to be a guaranteed selection for.

Despite the setback, Chahar showed that he has not lost any of his edge as he delivered a fine new-ball spell of 3-27 to dismiss the hosts for 189. In reply, India openers Shikhar Dhawan (81 not out) and Shubman Gill (82 not out) survived a testing spell early on before completing a 10-wicket win with almost 20 overs to spare.

“Every time you come back it’s always important to score runs and take wickets if you can,” Chahar said after his player-of-the-match performance. “I’m so glad that I made a good contribution today.”

Opener Dhawan, who was set to lead the side before KL Rahul was declared fit for the series and named captain, said he enjoyed opening the innings with Gill.

"I am enjoying batting with young Shubman and today I feel like a youngster too," said Dhawan.

"Once I was set, I went after the bowlers. I wanted to rotate the strike as well and then accelerate.

"My rhythm with Gill has settled nicely. The way he bats and times the ball is lovely to watch. He has shown the consistency in converting 50s into bigger 50s. Our bowlers did well and it was nice to see Deepak Chahar come back from injury and pick up three wickets."

The home side were all out for 189 in 40.3 overs, thanks largely to a brave 70-run ninth-wicket stand between Richard Ngarava and Brad Evans.

In trouble at 83-6 after being put in to bat by India, the home side rallied with Ngarava scoring 34 and Evans unbeaten on 33.

Ngarava faced 42 deliveries and smashed a six and three fours before being clean bowled by Prasidh Krishna (3-50). Evans also struck a six and three fours, off 29 balls.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel (3-24) finished off the innings.

Updated: August 18, 2022, 6:05 PM