The end, when it came, was a relief for everyone involved given the dismally one-sided nature of the series. Yet, Mishra had every right to celebrate as his 6 for 48 led to Zimbabwe being dismissed for just 163 and took his tally for the series to 18.
Although Kyle Jarvis returned to the Zimbabwe side and picked up two wickets with quality deliveries, the outcome of the match was never in doubt after Zimbabwe’s batsmen had put in another dire performance.
The morning’s play followed more or less the same pattern as on Thursday: Zimbabwe losing early wickets, enjoying some brief stability in the middle overs – this time thanks to Sean Williams – and then collapsing in a heap.
One difference for India was that Jaydev Unadkat took the new ball – a deserved promotion after an excellent series – and had figures of 1 for 8 in six overs. Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma also grabbed a wicket apiece in the opening 13 overs before Ravindra Jadeja ended another promising start by Hamilton Masakadza when he forced the batsman to play on after scoring 32.
Williams attempted to rebuild the innings with Malcolm Waller, only for Waller to fall to Mishra’s first delivery of the day – a long hop, which was inexplicably pulled to mid-on. With Elton Chigumbura registering a rare failure when he was trapped lbw for 13 by Mishra, the tail was exposed. Although Natsai Mushangwe gave the miniscule crowd something to cheer about by swinging away two sixes, the fun was never going to last long.
Mishra found turn with both his leg break and wrong ’un to run through the lower order as Mushangwe was bowled and Williams, Tinotenda Mutombodzi and Brian Vitori were all caught at slip.
With Zimbabwe’s innings lasting less than 40 overs, India’s batsmen came out to face six overs before the break – time enough for Jarvis to dent Cheteshwar Pujara’s One-Day International future when he bowled the opener before India was on the board.
Vitori could have had the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan as well, but Dhawan’s top edge was left to Brendan Taylor, the wicketkeeper, who failed to make adequate ground and put down the chance.
The two resultant runs took Dhawan to 34 from 21 deliveries, and India to 43 for 1 at the break, but Dhawan added just seven more to his total before Jarvis found the edge of his bat with a delicious outswinger.
Having batted just once on the tour thus far, Jadeja came in at No. 4 to join Ajinkya Rahane at the crease, and the pair opted for a steady approach to begin with before opening up as the target drew closer.
Jadeja took just ten runs from his first 45 deliveries but finished unbeaten on 48 from 77 balls after clubbing a couple of sixes in the second half of his knock, while Rahane batted with authority until he was bowled by Waller for 50.
That ended a 76-run partnership between the pair, and allowed Dinesh Karthik a brief bat as he and Jadeja added the 51 runs still required for victory. The series sweep was India's first in a five-match contest on foreign soil.