Sunday 30 June 2013

West Indies scrape through in a thriller

A splendid effort by the bowlers coupled
with a fantastic 97 from Johnson Charles
and a fine half century from Darren Bravo
helped the West Indies beat India by 1
wicket in a thriller at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
After restricting India to a moderate 229/7,
the West Indies scraped through with just
over 2 overs to spare.
West Indies won the toss at put India in.
Dwayne Bravo was forced to sit out with a
groin injury. Kieron Pollard was leading the
side in his absence. Ravi Rampaul also
missed the fixture due to a sprained ankle.
India went in with an unchanged eleven for
the sixth game in a row.
Shikhar Dhawan could not continue his
Bradman-esque form and was sent packing
by Kemar Roach for 11 in the 5th over.
Virat Kohli stamped his authority early,
upper-cutting Tino Best over the deep
backward point boundary for a six. Best was
guilty of bowling short and wide in his initial
spell. Meanwhile, Kemar Roach was firing in
on an impeccable line and length keeping
the batsmen on their toes. Kohli was kept
quiet for a while before Darren Sammy saw
the back of the Indian number 3 for 11 in
the 10th over of the innings. India were
reduced to 39/2.
Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik resurrected
the innings. Sammy and Samuels were
difficult to get away and kept a tight leash
on the incumbent duo. The latter was
rewarded with Karthik's wicket who fell for
a rather sluggish 23 off 56 deliveries
offering a simple caught and bowled to the
off-spinner. A painfully slow 59 run-stand
between him and Sharma had come to an
end. Rohit Sharma notched up a solid half-
century - his 16th in ODI cricket but soon
threw it all away with a mis-hit off Sammy
to long-off. Sharma departed for 60 off 89
deliveries. India had moved to 124/4 after
31 overs.
Sunil Narine did an excellent job in the
batting powerplay (overs 35.1 - 40)
conceding just 11 runs off his 3 overs. MS
Dhoni and Suresh Raina were satisfied in
nudging the ball in the gaps and did not
show any urgency to step on the accelerator
- the intention was to preserve their wickets
till the final five. The Indian skipper pulled
his hamstring while completing a run in the
43rd over. Roach picked up his 2nd getting
rid of Raina for 44 off the very next
delivery. Dhoni's movement and stroke-play
was hampered. An injured MSD was cleaned
up by Tino Best for 27. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
hit a few lusty blows to lift India to 229/7.
Narine was taken for 17 in the last over of
the innings. Best, Sammy and Roach picked
up 2 wickets each but Samuels was the pick
of the West Indian bowlers with figures of
20/1 off his 9 overs.
Dhoni did not take the field after the
innings break and Kohli took over the
reigns. West Indies got off to a terrible
start. Umesh Yadav got the prized scalp of
Chris Gayle for 11 before sending Devon
Smith packing for a duck to reduce the
hosts to 25/2 in the 4th over. It got from
bad to worse for them when Bhuvneshwar
Kumar cleaned up Marlon Samuels for 1 in
the next.
Johnson Charles, who had hit a flurry of
boundaries to get going, began the
rebuilding process with Darren Bravo. The
opener took the risks while Bravo looked
solid at one end. The pair took a liking to
Jadeja and tonked him for a number of
boundaries and sixes. West Indies reached
the three-figure mark in the 22nd over.
Charles notched up an impressive fifty off
just 60 balls. The pair raised a fine hundred
stand off 131 balls. Bravo followed suit and
brought up his half-century off 72
deliveries. The 4th wicket partnership had
added 116 before Ashwin got rid of Bravo
for 55. Kieron Pollard and Denesh Ramdin
fell in quick succession and there was a little
panic in the West Indies' dressing room as
the home team were reduced to 161/6 in
the 32nd over.
Darren Sammy came in and heaved Ishant
Sharma and Umesh Yadav for a few massive
sixes taking the match away from India. But
he tried his luck a bit too often and was
eventually sent packing for 29 by Ishant
Sharma. Meanwhile, Johnson Charles had
paced his innings beautifully, playing the
role of the aggressor initially before settling
down to play the anchor. He seemed
determined to take the West Indies over the
line before he had a rush of blood and
gifted his wicket to Umesh Yadav for 97.
Kohli's masterstroke to introduce Raina paid
dividends as he dismissed Narine for 5.
However, the last-wicket pair of Tino Best
and Kemar Roach held their nerve and took
the West Indies home in the 48th over to
clinch a thriller at Sabina Park. Fittingly, the
birthday boy, Kemar Roach hit the winning
runs and remained unbeaten on 14 off 32


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