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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

India-West Indies One-Day Cricket Series: Start With A Thriller!

 The first match of the One-Day Cricket Series between India and West Indies at Cuttack today proved to be a genuine thriller with ups and downs for both the sides. It was a classic low-scoring match on a supposedly flat hatting pitch. Both sides lost nine wickets each and India finally managing win by 1 wicket with 7 balls to spare! 

India won the toss and elected to field first. No surprise considering the dew factor that influences results in matches played this season in India. Team India was without the services of Dhoni, Tendulkar, and Yuvraj Singh with Pravin Kumar too left out due to a last minute injury. 

Indian pacers Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Vinay Kumar kept the visitors on a tight leash not giving runs easily and taking wickets at regular intervals. The spinners also contributed with part-timer Suresh Raina taking the vital wicket of Darren Bravo who top scored with 60 for the West Indies. The visitors were finally restricted to 211 for 9 and the target of 212 seemed an easy one for India. 

But the chase was not at all easy. Though off to brisk start India lost five quick wickets for just 22 runs between 37 to 59. Roach and Russel chipped in with 3 and 2 wickets respectively for West Indies to make the World Champions nearly bite the dust. Only Rohit Sharma took full charge from then onward and first evolved a fruitful partnerships with Jadeja who was the sixth out at 142.  At 159 for 7 the match headed for a nail biting finish and could have gone either way. 


The thriller went down the wire to the last man standing. Just when Team India seemed to be on safer ground needing just 11 runs to win Rohit Sharma, top scorer at 72, got out at 201 for 8. His partner Vinay Kumar at 18 got out too at the same score making it 201 for 9. With the two newbie pacers Umesh and  Varun left now to see through it was the edge of the seat classic suspense thriller till they notched up the required 11 runs with 7 balls remaining. Rohit was deservedly declared the man of the match. 

In hindsight it could be a case of overconfidence for the World Champions who found the target too easy and aimed to blaze away to victory. 

One day cricket has brought the crowds back and the very first match was a treat for the thousands of fans. Team India continues to assert its supremacy in this format of the game. After 5-0 victory over England Team India lead the five match series against West Indies 1-0.
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