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Ist T20I: Would’ve been best if I stayed till the end, says Gill after India’s 13-run loss to Zimbabwe

After suffering a stunning 13-run defeat to Zimbabwe in the T20I series opener, a disappointed India captain Shubman Gill said it would have been in the best interest of the visitors’ if he had stayed till the end at the Harare Sports Club. Last week, under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, India won the T20 World Cup, triggering a long party in the country. But the happy wave of the triumph came to a halt as Zimbabwe handed India their first defeat in T20Is this year.

Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi had taken career-best figures of 4-13 as India restricted Zimbabwe to 115/9. But Zimbabwe bowlers, led by three-fers from Tendai Chatara and captain Sikandar Raza, bowled out India for 102 in 19.5 overs, leading to jubilant scenes amongst their passionate fans at the stadium.

“We bowled pretty well; we let ourselves down in the field. We were not up to standard and everyone looked a bit rusty. We spoke about taking time and enjoying our batting, but it didn’t pan out that way. Halfway through we had lost five wickets, and it would’ve been best for us if I stayed there till the end.”

“Very disappointed with the way I got out and the rest of the match panned out. There was a bit of hope for us but when you’re chasing 115 and your no.10 batter is out there, you know something is wrong,” said Gill, who made 31, after the match ended.

Sikandar Raza, the Zimbabwe captain who took Player of the Match, said he felt elated over getting a famous win over India.

“Feel really happy about the win. Need to take one game at a time. The job is not done, series is not over. World champions play like world champions so we need to be ready for the next game.”

“This isn’t a wicket where you get bowled out for 115. Credit to the bowlers on both sides. Clearly an indication we need to up our skills. I said I don’t care about the result as long as we could be true to the crowd and changing room.”

“We had our plans, we stuck to it and we backed our guys. Our catching and ground fielding was amazing but we did make some errors, which shows there’s room for improvement. We knew the fans would lift us and give us energy, credit to them, it helped us.”

A useful 29 not out from Clive Madande and his 25-run stand for the last wicket with Chatara helped Zimbabwe reach a respectable total. Madande even hit three boundaries in the final over off Avesh Khan as 15 runs came off it.

“Just wanted to play throughout the innings, tried to get as many as we could. Tried to protect my partner, ended up getting 115 which was okay on this wicket. Told him (Chatara) simple things, I tried to let him play just 2 balls in an over. We told the boys to give it our all and to give our 100% no matter what.”

Zimbabwe now have a 1-0 lead in the five-match T20I series and will play the second match against India at the same venue on Sunday.

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