Harare, June 18 : India's complacency cost them dear as a disciplined Zimbabwe pipped the visitors by two runs to win the first T20 Intertiol at the Harare Sports Club here on Saturday.
After conceding the One-Day Intertiol (ODI) series 0-3, the hosts were up to the challenge with an all-round effort as they took a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series.
For the first time in the tour, India's batting faced some challenge as the middle order hardly got to spend time in the middle during the ODIs.
Chasing 171, India, who fielded five debutants, were off to an unexpected start losing the in-form Lokesh Rahul in the very first delivery before Mandeep Singh (31) and Ambati Rayudu (19) put on 44 runs.
Next in Manish Pandey took the attack to the hosts with a brilliant 35-ball 48 to take the team within sniffing distance of a win before falling to medium pacer Taurai Muzarabani. Pandey, who blasted three sixes and a four, was involved in two partnerships - 37 runs for the fourth wicket with Kedar Jadhav (19) and then 53 with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (19 not out) but that was not enough to take the team over the line.
Pandey's fall brought in left-arm spinner Axar Patel (18) who blasted two massive sixes and a four before being dismissed in his attempt to accelerate.
With India needing seven runs off four balls, bowling all-rounder Rishi Dhawan joined Dhoni but the duo could add only two with Dhawan failing to connect when it mattered the most.
For the hosts, Chamu Chibhabha and Muzarabani were the most successful bowlers with two scalps each while Dold Tiripano and Neville Madziva took one wicket apiece.
Earlier, former skipper Elton Chigumbura's late order onslaught guided Zimbabwe to 170/6 in their stipulated 20 overs.
Chigumbura blasted seven massive sixes and a four during his unbeaten 26-ball 55, which saw India leaking 59 runs in the last five overs. The right-hander's eighth-wicket stand with Madziva yielded 40 runs as the Indians were searching for cover for the first time in the tour.
India will now face the hosts in the second T20I on Monday at the same venue. IANS
Chamu Chibhabha b Dhawan 20, Hamilton Masakadza c Dhoni b Bumrah 25, Richmond Mutumbami retired hurt 0, Sikandar Raza run out (Pandey/Patel) 20, Malcolm Waller b Chahal 30, Tinotenda Mutombodzi c Dhawan b Patel 3, Elton Chigumbura not out 54, Graeme Cremer c Dhawan b Bumrah 4, Neville Madziva not out 5
Extras (lb 5, w 3, nb 1) 9; Total (6 wickets; 20 overs) 170
Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-50, 3-97, 4-98 , 5-111, 6-130
Bowling: Jaydev Udkat 4-0-43-0, Rishi Dhawan 4-0-42-1, Jasprit Bumrah 4-1-24-2, Axar Patel 4-0-18-1, Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-38-1
Lokesh Rahul b Tiripano 0, Mandeep Singh c Mutombodzi b Chibhabha 31, Ambati Rayudu b Chibhabha 19, Manish Pandey c Tiripano b Muzarabani 48, Kedar Jadhav b Muzarabani 19, Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out 19, Axar Patel c sub (Wellington Masakadza) b Madziva 18, Rishi Dhawan not out 1
Extras (lb 2, w 11) 13; Total (6 wickets; 20 overs) 168
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-44, 3-53, 4-90, 5-143, 6-164
Bowling: Dold Tiripano 4-0-35-1, Neville Madziva 4-0-34-1, Taurai Muzarabani 4-0-31-2, Chamu Chibhabha 2-0-13-2, Sikandar Raza 3-0-18-0, Graeme Cremer 3-0-35-0.