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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cricket: Team India Supreme! Rampaul Creates History!


The second One Day International (ODI) match between India and West Indies was nicely poised to be another humdinger, but Team India finally won quite comfortably by five wickets with 11 balls to spare. Following the first ODI this match also had its twists and turns.

Rains threatening to be spoilsport the toss was delayed by half an hour and Indian skipper Virender Sehwag elected to field after winning it. Pacers Umesh Yadav and Vinay Kumar exploited the cloudy and rare Indian seam-bowling conditions on a bouncy pitch and reduced West Indies to a tottering 149 for 8. Ravi Rampaul walked in at that moment and had altogether different ideas. At 170 for 9 the West Indies innings seemed to be over.

Rampaul started then a charged bout of powerful batting hitting half a dozen sixes and as many fours and blazed away to 86 not out of just 66 balls. He made history by becoming the first highest scoring No.10 batsman in one-day cricket. His partnership of 99 with Kemar Roach became the third highest for the last wicket. The final target of 270 for India was a challenging one considering the conditions.

India did start well losing Parthiv Patel at the score of 1 and Gautam Gambhir cheaply. Sehwag could not capitalize on his dropped chance and was out for 26. At 84 for 3 the match could have gone either way. But another brilliant partnership evolved between Virat Kohli and in-form Rohit Sharma. Kohli scored his eighth ton with a flowing and brilliant batting display with Rohit achieving his tenth half century.  India were cruising to victory at 247 for 3. A brief scare happened then with Kohli and Raina getting out in the same Roach over. But Rohit and Jadeja ensured a comfortable victory in the 49th over. Rohit remained unbeaten at 90.

If rested skipper Dhoni was watching he could be thinking about how a team could give away 99 runs after getting the opposition nearly out. Team India has a tendency to do it again and again. But standing skipper Sehwag defended by saying that when a batsman enters a spell of clean hitting nothing could possibly stop him. He tried all the tricks under the sun and failed. Normally consistent spinner Ashwin too gave away 74 runs without taking a single wicket. But this remains a point to ponder upon.

India lead the series now 2-0. 



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