India suffered a 13-run defeat against Zimbabwe in the first T20I match at Harare Sports Club. Despite a strong bowling performance that restricted Zimbabwe to 115/9, India’s fielding lapses and a dramatic batting collapse handed the victory to the hosts.

India’s bowling unit, led by Ravi Bishnoi (4/13) and Washington Sundar (2/11), kept the pressure on Zimbabwe throughout their innings. However, the fielding side let themselves down with several dropped catches and misfields, allowing Zimbabwe to post a competitive total.

In response, India’s batting lineup crumbled under the pressure. Despite a promising start from Shubman Gill (18), the team lost wickets at regular intervals and found themselves at 47/6. Gill, who was looking to anchor the innings, was disappointed with his dismissal. “It was honestly to take your time and enjoy the batting, but it wasn’t the way it panned out,” he lamented. “You could say that. At the halfway stage we lost five wickets, it would have been best if I stayed till the end. Disappointed by the way I got out.”

Washington Sundar (23) and Avesh Khan (10) tried to revive the innings with a 27-run partnership, but it was too little too late. India were eventually bowled out for 102 in 19.5 overs.

Zimbabwe’s bowlers, led by Tendai Chatara and Sikandar Raza, were on top of their game, taking 2 wickets each. The fielding was also sharp, with a run-out and a catch in the deep highlighting Zimbabwe’s commitment in the field.

“We bowled pretty well but we let ourselves down in the fielding,” said Gill. “Everyone looked a bit rusty.”

Despite the loss, Gill praised Washington Sundar’s performance. “Washington kept it together; there was hope for us. But when you want your number 10 and 11 out there you know something is wrong.”

The defeat is a wake-up call for India, who will need to regroup and come back stronger in the remaining matches of the series.

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