India registered a dominating 10-wicket win over hosts Zimbabwe in the first One Day International at Harare Sports Club on Thursday, courtesy a 192-run partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and a three-for by Deepak Chahar earlier.

Chasing 190, opening duo Shubman Gill and Shikhar Dhawan stitched together an unbeaten 192 run partnership in 30.5 overs to take the lead in the three-match ODI series. While Gill brought up 82* runs off 72 deliveries, Dhawan played second fiddle with 81* runs off 113 balls.

The opening pair, who have been in good form in West Indies too, registered their third century partnership and that proved to be too much for the Zimbabwean bowlers. With this victory, India also registered their thirteenth consecutive win over Zimbabwe.

Earlier in the day, having won the toss, India captain KL Rahul opted to bowl first and the attack led by Deepak Chahar (3/27) successfully reined in the hosts with three early wickets of Innocent Kaia (4), Tadiwanashe Marumani (8) and Wesley Madhevere (5) inside the first ten overs.

The hosts posted 189 runs in 40.3 overs in the first innings with captain Regis Chakabva top-scoring with 35 runs off 51 deliveries but Prasidh Krishna (3/50) and Axar Patel (3/24) played supporting acts to Chahar with three wickets apiece while Mohammad Siraj picked up the wicket of Sean Williams (1). While the top and middle order struggled to fire for the hosts, Brad Evans (33*) and Richard Ngarava (34) stitched Zimbabwe’s highest ninth wicket partnership against India for 70 runs to take the team to a respectable total.

India tour of Zimbabwe: KL Rahul and Co start as favourites against upbeat hosts

Making their return for the Indian team were Chahar, skipper Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav, who were all nursing injuries at the NCA, Bangalore and had missed India’s previous assignments at England, Ireland and West Indies.

Additionally, the visitors had admitted to being wary of an upbeat Zimbabwe, who defeated Bangladesh 2-1 in the recently concluded ODI series. However, India are still expected to be favourites in the three games in Harare.

India tour of Zimbabwe: KL Rahul on his return, captaincy duties, managing players’ workload & more

A number of players, including batters Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, have been rested ahead of the Asia Cup in the UAE this month and this series is yet another opportunity for India to test their bench strength ahead of the tournament and the T20 World Cup in October.

Deepak Chahar was declared player of the match for his bowling effort.