All-rounder Deepak Hooda on Saturday created a unique world record after Team India beat Zimbabwe by five wickets in the 2nd ODI here.
The win helped India in taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Interestingly, since Hooda’s international debut, India have won every match that he has played in, across formats and he proved to be the country’s lucky charm.
As per records, Hooda has now been part of 16 successive wins for India, which is the longest unbeaten streak for any player after debut. India have won seven ODIs and nine T20Is with Hooda in the team since he played his first international match in February this year.
Romania’s Satvik Nadigotla held the record of 15 matches won since his debut, while South African star David Miller and Romania’s Shantanu Vashisht enjoyed winning streaks of 13 games since they played their first international match.
Meanwhile, after Thakur’s 3-38 in seven overs and the rest of the bowlers took a wicket each to bowl Zimbabwe out for just 161 in 38.1 overs, the visitors were in some discomfort at 97-4 in their chase of 167. But Samson, who hit three fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 43 off 39 balls and Deepak Hooda (25, including three fours) shared a 56-run stand to get the match in India’s favour with 146 balls remaining.
K.L. Rahul’s promotion as opener backfired as he was trapped plumb lbw while attempting to flick off Victor Nyauchi. Shikhar Dhawan was aggressive and used his feet well to hit four good-looking boundaries. But he was undone by a well-directed bouncer from Tanaka Chivanga as he pulled but it got big on him and skied to square leg.
Ishan Kishan chopped onto his stumps off Luke Jongwe to depart cheaply. But Shubman Gill, batting at three, was at his classy best, bringing out his signature short-arm jab while oozing class with his off-side boundaries and driving straight down the ground with the full face of the bat. Gill’s promising knock ended at 33 when he got a top-edge on a slash straight to deep third man.
From 97-4 in 14 overs, Hooda and Samson joined forces to take India over the line. Samson brought up India’s hundred by driving in the gap between cover and mid-off off Jongwe while Hooda ramped a short ball over the keeper for another boundary in the 16th over.
Samson was in his element, smoking Chivanga down the ground for a boundary before slamming Sikandar Raza in the next over through the same region for another four and followed it up by dispatching over long-on for six. After Hooda hit Brad Evans for a boundary through cover, Samson used his feet to smack back-to-back sixes off Sean Williams in the 23rd over.
On Williams’ slower ball, Samson danced down the pitch to smash down the ground. On the very next ball, Williams dropped short and Samson pulled flat over fine leg for another six. Though Hooda was castled by a yorker from Raza to end the 56-run partnership for the fifth wicket, Samson finished off the chase in style with a huge six over long-on to seal the match and series in India’s favour.