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Monday, November 25, 2013

Cricket: West Indies Salvage Lost Pride, Beat India To Draw Level!


Man of The Match Darren Sammy

West Indies desperately needed a win after being brought in and butchered for celebrating Sachin Tendulkar retirement. Their deposed captain Darren Sammy kept his cool finally leading his team to victory on Sunday, the 24th of November, 2013. Salvaging their lost pride and overcoming their suicidal tendencies twice during the match West Indies managed to beat India by 2 wickets in the second one day international (ODI) in Visakhapatnam. For once, both teams matched each other in terms of ups and downs, flip-flops, dropped catches and fielding blemishes. Of course, in bowling West Indies managed to block India effectively midway while Indian bowlers were lackluster except for Ashwin.

West Indies won the toss and maybe due to the dew factor elected to field first. This time Rohit Sharma could not take his dream run forward and got out early with Shikhar Dhawan too unable to stick on for long. But Virat Kohli gave the momentum needed and was poised for his 18th ODI hundred thus creating a record of scoring five centuries each in two consecutive years. With good support from Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina he took the score to 194 for 3 in the 35th over. At that stage India seemed to be on course for a 300 plus total. However, inspired bowling by Rampaul, Holder and Sammy deprived Kohli (99 off 100 balls) of his hundred almost choking India. Raina this time too could not go on for a longer innings and perished to a bad shot. But for a late charge by captain Dhoni (51 not out) India could not have reached an imposing total of 288/7 on a slowish pitch. The match was evenly poised because of the heavy dew.

West Indies, this time without Chris Gayle, started badly losing two wickets for 23 runs. But then Powell (59) and Darren Bravo (50) brought up the first hundred run partnership of the tour and they had the first breath of win at 123 for 2. Unpredictability took over as both fell quickly despite being let off several times. Simmons (62) kept hope alive still and at 185 for 4 West Indies were cruising. They let it go too and struggled losing wickets till the end. Finally Darren Sammy (63 not out off just 45 balls) overcame his team’s suicidal instincts and reached 289 for 8 winning the match by 2 wickets with 3 balls to spare. He was rightfully chosen the Man of the Match.  The Scorecard:

With the three-match India-West Indies ODI Series locked at 1-1 the third and final encounter in Kanpur on 27th November looks interesting. The final will be a day match and therefore the dew factor affecting mainly the bowlers of the team fielding second is being ruled out. The early wintry morning conditions could of course help fast bowlers though and the toss could still be tricky.
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