Wednesday, 30 November 2011
India scampers home in thrilling finish
Rohit puts the host on victory path with an impressive innings
Rohit Sharma's brilliant 72 and useful contributions from the lower-order helped India battle back from the brink and script an exciting one-wicket win against the West Indies in the first One-Day International at the Barabati Stadium here on Tuesday.
Chasing West Indies' 211 for nine in 50 overs, India was tottering at 59 for five when Rohit and Ravindra Jadeja joined forces. The sixth-wicket pair raised 83, easily the best phase of the Indian innings.
Rohit played some breathtaking shots, an extra-cover drive and a pull off Russell being the pick. At the other end, Jadeja, known for his aggressive instincts, curbed his natural style and played second fiddle to Rohit. The partnership ended when Jadeja's square cut off Pollard went straight to Lendl Simmons.
Though next man R. Ashwin was run out cheaply, R. Vinay Kumar showed some spunk while adding 42 for the eighth wicket with Rohit. Just when it looked like the two would carry India to victory, Rohit was bowled by leg-spinner Anthony Martin with 11 needed.
Vinay, who made a valuable 18, also departed at the same score, leaving it to the last pair — Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav — to see India through. The two pace bowlers struggled initially, particularly with their calling and running, but managed to keep their nerve.
After Aaron hit a precious boundary off West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, Yadav finished things off with a straight-drive for four in the same over amidst thunderous applause from the packed house.
Roach on fire
At the beginning of the Indian innings, Kemar Roach produced a superb spell to put the host on the backfoot. He removed Parthiv Patel and Gautam Gambhir in the fifth over before castling Virat Kohli with a beautiful in-swinger in his next over.
At this stage, a section of the crowd turned unruly and the match was stopped for five minutes. On resumption, Virender Sehwag was bowled by another beauty, this time from Andre Russell. When Raina fell cheaply, spooning a simple catch to Darren Bravo off Russell, all seemed over for India before the Rohit-Jadeja association changed the course of the game.
Earlier, Bravo (60) and Danza Hyatt (31) helped the West Indies cross the 200-run mark after being asked to bat. The two put on 75 for the fourth wicket after the visitors were reduced 52 for three.
Adrian Barath fell cheaply, nicking Vinay to wicketkeeper Parthiv, while Simmons was bowled by Yadav. It was a memorable start to Aaron's spell as he castled Marlon Samuels with a ball that nipped in.
Bravo and Hyatt then dug their heels in as the runs came easily. The two were progressing well when the latter was needlessly run out.
Pollard walked in amidst huge expectations, but the explosive batsman was kept quiet by the Indian spinners.
To make matters worse, West Indies lost Bravo, who was bowled by Raina. Bravo's 60 was compiled off 74 balls and contained six boundaries. When Pollard, too, followed five runs later, West Indies plunged into deeper trouble.
Russell used the long handle to good effect, smashing 22 off 20 balls with two fours and one six. He took the team past 200 before becoming Aaron's second victim.
However, it was Yadav who was the best Indian bowler on view with his speed and accuracy.
He clocked the fastest ball of the innings — 147.6kmph. Aaron, too, was pacy but his waywardness allowed the West Indies batsmen to score runs freely.
At the end of the day, the two fast bowlers also turned match-winners for India with their last-wicket partnership.
Incidentally, this was India's 10th consecutive win at home, and its third against the West Indies at this venue.
West Indies: L. Simmons b Yadav 19 (30b, 2x4, 1x6), A. Barath c Parhiv b Vinay 17 (13b, 3x4), M. Samuels b Aaron 10 (11b, 2x4), D. Bravo b Raina 60 (74b, 6x4), D. Hyatt (run out) 31 (54b, 2x4, 1x6), K. Pollard c Kohli b Ashwin 13 (33b), D. Ramdin c & b Yadav 14 (34b), D. Sammy b Jadeja 0 (8b), A. Russell b Aaron 22 (20b, 2x4, 1x6), K. Roach (not out) 12 (15b, 1x4), A. Martin (not out) 3 (8b); Extras (lb-4, w-6): 10; Total (for nine wkts. in 50 overs): 211.
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Barath), 2-46 (Samuels), 3-52 (Simmons), 4-127 (Hyatt), 5-154 (Bravo), 6-159 (Pollard), 7-169 (Sammy), 8-183 (Ramdin), 9-200 (Russell).
India bowling: Vinay 6-0-27-1, Yadav 8-1-33-2, Aaron 9-0-47-2, Ashwin 10-1-30-1, Jadeja 10-0-42-1, Raina 5-0-20-1, Rohit 2-0-8-0.
Power Plays: One (1-10): 52/3; Bowling (16-20): 22/0; Batting (36-40): 11/1.
India: Parthiv c Martin b Roach 12 (13b, 2x4), V. Sehwag b Russell 20 (29b, 3x4), G. Gambhir c Ramdin b Roach 4 (3b, 1x4), V. Kohli b Roach 3 (6b), Rohit b Martin 72 (99b, 3x4, 1x6), S. Raina c Bravo b Russell 5 (7b), R. Jadeja c Simmons b Pollard 38 (62b, 3x4), R. Ashwin (run out) 6 (10b), R. Vinay Kumar c Roach b Sammy 18 (48b, 1x4), V. Aaron (not out) 6 (11b, 1x4), U. Yadav (not out) 6 (9b, 1x4); Extras (lb-3, w-16, nb-4): 23; Total (for nine wkts. in 48.5 overs): 213.
Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Parthiv), 2-41 (Gambhir), 3-47 (Kohli), 4-51 (Sehwag), 5-59 (Raina), 6-142 (Jadeja), 7-159 (Ashwin), 8-201 (Rohit), 9-201 (Vinay).
West Indies bowling: Roach 10-0-46-3, Martin 6-1-35-1, Russell 9-1-29-2, Sammy 8.5-1-40-1, Samuels 10-0-37-0, Pollard 5-0-23-1.
Power Plays: One (1-10): 55/4; Bowling (16-20): 20/0; Batting (36-40): 17/0.