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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cricket: Virender Sehwag Creates World Record! India Post Highest Ever Total and Clinch ODI Series in Style!


Team India's top order clicked today and clicked in a magnificent way. Stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag created world record in the forty year old history one day international (ODI) cricket by scoring the highest ever individual score. He made an incredible 219 surpassing the world record of 200 not out by Sachin Tendulkar in a home ODI series against South Africa on February 24, 2010. Sehwag also scored his double in just 140 balls against Tendulkar's 147-ball innings. He also became only the second batsman to score a one-day double ton. Sehwag's 219 consisted of 25 fours and 7 huge sixes. 

India won the toss for the fourth time in the fourth ODI at Indore too, but made two significant changes this time. They elected to bat first considering the fact that in all the previous matches their chases were not comfortable and in fact lost the chase in the third encounter. Secondly the opening pair reverted to the most dependable Sehwag-Gambhir relegating Parthiv Patel to lower down the order. This was done perhaps in the context of India's forthcoming tour of Australia which promises to be an electric one. In the team Irfan Pathan, the replacement for Umesh Yadav after the third match, was not finally included in the eleven, but long sitting reserve Rahul Sharma got his first chance to play. 

On a perfect batting pitch supported by a very quick outfield the Indian innings just raced on and not even an iota of respect paid to any of the hapless West Indies bowlers. The visitors’ fielding made things worse with both Sehwag and Gambhir getting a life each early on. No bowler could apply control and runs flowed easily and mostly in fours and sixes. All top three Indian batsmen raced to their half centuries and the first two wickets fell only to run outs. With cameos from Rohit Sharma, Jadeja and Virat Kohli India posted a mammoth total of 418 runs for 5, their highest ever in ODIs. 

Facing a daunting and almost impossible target of 419 runs the West Innings was an anti-climax. Only once in history South Africa could surpass a 400 plus total set by Australia in memorable match. So, it was presumed that the West Indies team without top players losing in-for Darren Bravo too to a last minute injury would ever be able to come close to winning. And that's what happened eventually. West Indies kept on losing wickets at regular intervals with the debutante Rahul Sharma getting three scalps followed by Jadeja to with three more. At one stage they were reeling at 168 for 8 in 32 overs and required run rate at almost 14 runs per over. Barring a last wicket blitzkrieg between D Ramdin and spinner SP Narine for 64 runs the West Indies innings folded up for 265 with an awesome inevitability. Highest scorer Ramdin could not complete his century being the last man out at 96 giving India a 153-runs victory margin. 

Team India won in style and clinched the ODI series at 3-1. The man of the match? Well, it had to be Sehwag, the one and only. 

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