Unfortunately, this was another no-contest, with the bowlers landing the knockout blow on Zimbabwe in the first innings to help India coast to a series win. Coming off a comprehensive victory, setup by their bowlers, the men with the white cherry did their jobs to a tee to hand the visitors an eight-wicket win.
It looked like being India's day, yet again, the moment MS Dhoni won the toss for the second straight match on a cold morning, and that feeling only grew after Sean Williams, only in for the injured Craig Ervine, was ruled out from playing any part in the game after injuring his finger.
While the ball did not move around as much as the last match, the India fast bowlers grabbed control again, with Barinder Sran (6-1-17-2) and Dhawal Kulkarni (9-1-31-2) slicing Zimbabwe to 39/3 in 10 overs. There was real danger of Zimbabwe collapsing from there, but a really nice partnership between Vusi Sibanda and Sikandar Raza worth 67 runs raised hopes of this 2nd ODI actually being a contest.
Sibanda scored 48 runs of those 67 in the partnership, helping himself to a half-century in the process, and just like that, at 106/3 in 25 overs, the hosts looked on course for a challenging total. However, over number 26 completely turned the match India's way, with Yuzvendra Chahal (6-2-25-3) picking up two wickets in two balls, before dismissing the dangerous Sibanda as well. The first to go was Sikandar Raza (16, 41b, 1x4), playing a poor shot and holing out at long-on. Elton Chigumbura, so vital to Zimbabwe's batting, lasted just one delivery as a slider struck him in front of the wicket.
You would think now was the time for Sibanda (53, 69b, 6x4, 1x6) to say, "alright, let me just stick around for a bit here and see where it takes us," but, off Chahal's next over, the right-hander went for a big shot and only managed to find Kedar Jadhav at long-on.
From 106/3, Zimbabwe found themselves on 106/6 and with Williams unable to bat, it was basically 106/7, which meant India only needed three more lower order wickets to finish off the innings. Those were taken easily enough as the home team folded for 126 in 34.3 overs.
India had time to bat 13 overs before the scheduled break, with the openers KL Rahul and Karun Nair, who was lucky to survive a caught behind after Tendai Chatara was adjudged to have bowled a no-ball when the batsman was only on 10, taking their team to 48/0.
Rahul (33, 50b, 4x4), who became the first batsman for India to score a century on ODI debut in the last match, fell in the second over after the break, playing one on, but Nair (39, 68b, 5x4) and Ambati Rayudu took India to 125/2 in 26.4 overs with a 67-run partnership. While the former fell to Raza right at the death, Rayudu was there with Manish Pandey to seem India home with 23.1 overs to spare.