Zimbabwe left-arm seamer Brian Vitori’s bowling action has been found to be legal following remedial work and a retest, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed today.
The 26-year-old was reported for suspect action after Zimbabwe’s third Twenty20 international (T20I) against Bangladesh in Khulna on 20 January 2016 and subsequently banned.
But after undergoing a retest at the University of Pretoria on 10 June, Vitori has now been cleared by the ICC to resume bowling in both international and domestic cricket events worldwide.
At the retest, it was revealed that the amount of elbow extensions in Vitori’s bowling action for all his deliveries that were tested was within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the ICC regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions.
Vitori, who made his international debut in August 2011, has played four Tests, 19 one-day internationals and 11 T20Is for Zimbabwe.
India – 138 for 6 in 20 overs (Kedar Jadhav 58, KL Rahul 22; Donald Tiripano 3/20)
Zimbabwe – 135 for 6 in 20 overs (Vusi Sibanda 28, Peter Joseph Moor 26; Dhawal Kulkarni 2/23, Barinder Sran 2/31)
India won by three runs
The Harare Sports Club faithful were treated to another spectacular game of Twenty20 international cricket, but unlike Saturday when Zimbabwe clinched a two-run win, the home crowd left the ground heartbroken as their beloved team fell short by three agonising runs.
India’s modest total of 138-6 from their 20 overs was thanks to a well-manufactured 58 off 42 balls by Kedar Jadhav, who held the innings together as wickets fell at regular intervals.
Zimbabwe won the toss and for the first time in the tour elected to bowl, and their decision seemed to be vindicated as India slumped to 28-3 in what appeared to be a blink of an eye.
KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh got off to a quiet start, as first Rahul negotiated a maiden over by Tendai Chatara, and then Singh tried to adapt to the pitch which made stroke-play very difficult.
Singh eventually lost his patience and was well-caught by Timycen Maruma, who took a well-judged running catch at cover off the bowling of Donald Tiripano to dismiss Singh for four with India’s total on 20.
Rahul then got his own back on Chatara when he plundered 15 runs off the seamer before dragging Neville Madziva onto his stumps for 22 with the total on 27.
The innings when 27-2 then became 27-3 after Manish Pandey attempted a suicide single to mid-on, but Elton Chigumbura was fast to react, and a quick pick-up and release saw Pandey well out when Chigumbura's direct hit flattened the stumps.
Kedar Jadhav lived a charmed life at the crease when he offered a simple chance to Hamilton Masakadza early on in his innings, but then took advantage of the situation as he started to work and manipulate the ball into gaps.
He found a worthwhile partner in Ambati Rayudu who added 49 for the fourth wicket before Rayudu was comfortably caught by Chigumbura off the bowling of Graeme Cremer for a scratchy but crucial 20.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni tried to add some impetus to the Indian innings, but his stay was cut short when Tiripano, who was impressive throughout the innings, bowled the Indian skipper for nine.
Tiripano claimed his final wicket when he removed set batsman Jadhav for a fluent 58 off 42 balls which included seven fours and a six.
Axar Patel once again proved his importance in the shorter format by hammering an unbeaten 20 off 11 balls, taking a particular liking to Madziva who conceded 14 runs in the final over of the innings.
Tiripano was the stand-out bowler, finishing with figures of 3-20 from his four overs, while Chamunorwa Chibhabha continued to impress with the ball, as his four overs yielded just 19 runs, while Tendai Chatara and Graeme Cremer chipped in with a wicket apiece.
A total of 139 would always prove to be tricky on a slow pitch and Chibhabha, who never looked comfortable at the crease, was the first to go when he was brilliantly caught by Yuzvendra Chahal off the bowling of Barinder Sran for five.
Hamilton Masakadza was then joined by a rampant Vusi Sibanda who transferred the pressure back onto India with a flurry of boundaries, but India never seemed flustered.
The tourists instead turned to Zimbabwe’s tormentor left-arm spinner Axar Patel who got the desired result for India when he trapped Masakadza in front of his stumps, when he attempted an ambitious sweep shot for 15 with the total on 57.
Sibanda, who is arguably Zimbabwe's most talented yet unfulfilled batsman, was next to go when Dhawal Kulkarni had the last laugh when the seamer trapped him plumb in front for 28, including five fours, off 22 balls.
Malcolm Waller and Peter Joseph Moor then launched a vicious counter-attack, and although it was entertaining, it was short-lived as one shot too many saw Moor depart for 26 off 21 balls which included three sixes.
Waller soon followed and Zimbabwe were once again in trouble at 104-5.
Chigumbura then found a more than useful partner in Maruma, who showed his detractors exactly how much potential he has when he very nearly carried Zimbabwe to victory.
But the wise and experienced head of Dhoni kept the Indian bowlers, who for the first time were beginning to show signs of panic, in check.
Maruma’s unbeaten 23 off 13 balls, with one four and two sixes, took Zimbabwe to the very brink of victory, but Chigumbura was unable to capitalise on a full toss bowled by Sran and hit the last ball straight to cover to be dismissed for 16, handing India a three-run win, as well as the Prayag Cup T20 Series.
Kulkarni was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 2/23 from his four overs, while Sran continued his good form with 2/31.
Zimbabwe will undoubtedly be disappointed with the outcome, but will almost certainly take a great deal of heart after the drubbing in the ODI series.
Zimbabwe – 99 for 9 in 20 overs (Peter Joseph Moor 31, Malcolm Waller 14; Barinder Sran 4/10, Jasprit Bumrah 3/11)
India – 103 for 0 in 13.1 overs (Mandeep Singh 52*, KL Rahul 47*)
India won by 10 wickets (with 41 balls remaining)
Zimbabwe were brought back to earth after Saturday’s nail-biting win when India bounced back in emphatic style with a comprehensive 10-wicket win in the second Prayag Cup Twenty20 international played at Harare Sports Club on Monday.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat on what appeared to be another belter of a pitch.
However, the home side were in for a rude awakening thanks to a devastating spell of swing bowling by left-arm seamer Barinder Sran who single-handedly reduced Zimbabwe to 28-4.
Chamunorwa Chibhabha was the first of Sran’s victims when he was well-caught by Ambati Rayudu in an attempt to up the tempo after both he and in particular Hamilton Masakadza struggled to rotate the strike.
Chibhabha departed for 10 with the total on 14, which then became 26-2 when Masakadza played an ugly swipe across the line to have his timber disturbed for a scratchy 10.
KL Rahul then showed that his expertise also extended to the field as he took a brilliant diving catch to remove Sikandar Raza Butt for a single, before Sran then sealed Zimbabwe’s fate when he trapped Tinotenda Mutombodzi in front for a golden duck to leave the home side in a mess at 28-4.
Peter Joseph Moor and Malcolm Waller desperately tried to resurrect the innings with a cautious partnership of 29, but with overs running out, Waller came down the wicket to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal only to pick out Axar Patel who took a good catch at cover.
After Waller departed for 14, Moor who was the mainstay of the innings was the next to go when he was cleverly deceived by a slower ball from Jasprit Bumrah, and was comfortably taken at backward point by Patel for 31.
Saturday's match-winner Elton Chigumbura was unable to repeat the heroics of the first match and became Bumrah’s second scalp when he was castled for eight off 17 balls to leave Zimbabwe in tatters at 81-7.
Bumrah then added Neville Madziva to his list when he bowled the promising all-rounder for one.
Although captain Graeme Cremer tried to occupy the crease and rotate the strike, his resistance was short-lived when Dhawal Kulkarni removed the skipper for just four runs.
Donald Tiripano was able to clear the boundary in the final over, but a total of 99-9 from 20 overs was never going to cause any problems for a team batting second on a good pitch.
Sran, who finished with figures of 4/10 from his four overs, now has the best bowling figures by an Indian bowler making his T20 international debut, while Bumrah put in another excellent display of seam bowling to finish with 3/10 from his four overs.
If Zimbabwe’s fans were hoping for dramatics with the ball, their hopes were almost instantly dashed, as openers KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh took advantage of wayward bowling and a lacklustre performance in the field to romp home in 13.1 overs, with Singh finishing unbeaten on 52 and Rahul 47* as India bagged the match on 103 for no loss.
The two teams conclude the tour when they meet in the third and final Prayag Cup T20 international on Wednesday at the same venue.
Zimbabwe wicket-keeper/batsman Richmond Mutumbami is out of the second Prayag Cup Twenty20 International (T20I) match against India, which is at Harare Sports Club this afternoon.
Mutumbami was batting in the first T20I match against India at the same venue on Saturday when he was hit by a ball on the right hip, resulting in swelling and pain which made it difficult for him to fully bear his weight on the limb and so rendered him immobile as even standing was difficult.
He pulled out of the match and was taken to hospital. An x-ray showed that Mutumbami had not suffered fracture or dislocation. He is under treatment and, to speed up recovery, will be using crutches to reduce strain on the hips when standing or walking.
Mutumbami’s recovery will be re-assessed for the third and final Prayag Cup T20I match against India, which will be played on Wednesday afternoon – also at Harare Sports Club.
The injury to Mutumbami, who celebrated his 27th birthday just over a week ago, leaves interim coach Makhaya Ntini with no option but to go against the old adage that one does not change a winning a team.
At the practice session at the match venue on Sunday morning, Ntini, batting coach Lance Klusener and fitness trainer Sean Bell took turns to work with Peter Joseph Moor who is likely to take over the gloves tomorrow. Malcolm Waller stood in for Mutumbami on Saturday but the national selection panel is likely to opt to start the match with Moor who has been deputising for Mutumbami of late.
Also out of the second T20I match is batsman Brian Chari, who continues to make steady progress recovering from a knee injury and had a stint on the exercise bicycle yesterday morning. He will continue with therapy, given concerns that if selected now he will struggle with sprinting.
Zimbabwe beat India by two runs in the first Prayag Cup T20I match, and are keen to win the second of the three-match series on Monday, to avenge the Killer Cup ODI series whitewash they suffered last week.