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India's Avesh Khan bowls during the third T20 international cricket match between Zimbabwe and India at Harare Sports Club in Harare on Wednesday. Image Credit: AFP

Harare: Fine bowling performances from Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan helped India overcome a scare to beat Zimbabwe by 23 runs in the third T20I of the five-match series at Harare on Wednesday.

With this win, India lead the series 2-1, with two more games to go. Sundar bagged three wickets and gave away just 15 runs in his four-over spell at an economy rate of 3.80. Spinner Sundar, who was named the ‘Player of the Match’ while praising the batters said, “It is an amazing feeling to represent India every time. It was definitely a better wicket, in the first two games there was more for the bowlers compared to this game, our batters batted well. (On the partnership between Myers & Madande)

"It did put a lot of pressure on us and we wanted to execute our plans the best we can to restrict them. Hopefully, we get to see a lot of places in Zimbabwe and explore more, hopefully we can seal the series on Saturday,” Washington added.

India opted to bat first and a fine 67-run partnership between Yashasvi Jaiswal (36 in 27 balls, with four boundaries and two sixes) and skipper Shubman Gill kickstarted things for India. Later Shubman (66 in 49 balls, with seven fours and three sixes) had a 72-run partnership with Ruturaj Gaikwad (49 in 28 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes). India scored 182/4 in their 20 overs.

Blessing Muzarbani (2/25) and Sikandar Raza (2/24) were the pick of the bowlers for Zimbabwe.

Chasing 183 to win, India had Zimbabwe struggling at 39/5. Later, a 77-run partnership between Dion Myers (65* in 49 balls, with seven fours and a six) and Clive Madande (37 in 26 balls, with two fours and two sixes) gave Zimbabwe’s innings a new lease of life. However, Indian bowlers bounced back on time to keep Zimbabwe at 159/6 at the end of their 20 overs.

Avesh Khan (2/39) was the other bowler to shine for India.