India beat Westindies by 3 wickets to seal the series

Jun 12, 2011

India beat Westindies by 3 wickets in 2nd ODI (with 22 balls remaining) SCORECARD

Superb knock from Rohit Sharma as he picks up a stump as a souvenir. He has been talked up by almost everyone, and is now starting to fulfill the enormous promise. Harbhajan Singh, he has his own methods, but he also has loads of fight. Which is what Andre Russell showed as well, with a blazing unbeaten 92, but it did not prove to be enough.

India needed 134 when Yusuf Pathan fell, with only four wickets to go. Even more remarkable than India's win is the ease with which the West Indies attack fell apart, epitomised by Kemar Roach spraying the ball around

Arnie sums up the game: "What similarity in the 2 scorecards... one of the opener getting to 40s, one batsmen getting over 80 and one lower order batsman supporting with a score around 30-40."

Krish: "A coming of age innings from Rohit, but not to forget the performance from the tail. With Ashwin knocking down the door for the off spinners spot, Harbajan is seriously added batting to the column of his strengths. And of course, pressure easing quick fire cameo from PK. Most satisfying victory from the second string Indian team."

India 228 for 7 (Rohit 86*, Harbhajan 46) beat West Indies 225 for 8 (Russell 92*, Simmons 45, Mishra 3-28, Munaf 3-60) by three wickets
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How they were out

Rohit Sharma produced his best international innings since his big-stage arrival in Australia three years ago to help India chase down 226 from 92 for 6. Harbhajan Singh supported him with a seventh-wicket partnership full of sensible cricket and worth 88 runs. Rohit stayed unbeaten on 86 to outdo a similar effort from Andre Russell who blasted 92 off 64 to give West Indies a defendable target after they had been 96 for 7. With the result, India won the five-match series 3-0. West Indies last won an ODI series against a Test-playing nation in April 2008.

Without doubt this was the closest of India's tour so far. A day when West Indies showed remarkable fight after getting off to the worst start of the series. A day when Amit Mishra mesmerised them with old-fashioned legspin full of turn, drift, bounce, straighter ones and googlies. A day when two tails wagged to provide uncertainty and drama. A day when a young talent announced himself well and proper on the international stage. A day when a young talent who has fumbled with mediocrity played a comeback innings well and proper.

Full report to follow...

25 overs India 101 for 6 (Rohit 30*, Harbhajan 2*) need another 125 to beat West Indies 225 for 8 (Russell 92*, Simmons 45, Mishra 3-28, Munaf 3-60)
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How they were out

The wicket-throwing virus seems to have caught on. India, often beneficiaries of West Indies' largesse on this tour, got on a spree of irresponsible shots themselves, outdoing West Indies' six wickets for 31 earlier in the day. West Indies could claim they were victims to some very good legspin bowling from Amit Mishra, but in going from 60 for 2 to 92 for 6 India had their injudicious shots to blame. And most importantly, West Indies had a special innings from Andre Russell take them to a defendable total; India were left looking at Rohit Sharma to provide similar inspiration.

It was that Russell innings that sent out a spirited West Indies team in defence. Still Parthiv Patel seemed to have the chase under the control, but his wicket to reduce India to 79 for 4 gave West Indies a distinct edge. Batsmen other than Parthiv and Rohit Sharma struggled on a two-paced pitch, and Virat Kohli didn't even get a chance to struggle as he copped a bad lbw decision first ball.

Kemar Roach and Russell both exploited the up-and-down pitch to keep the openers from scoring freely. On a surface that was difficult for horizontal shots, Parthiv employed the upper-cut and the pull well. He dominated the scoring so much that at one point he was 35 out of a team score of 42. Before that, though, one Darren Sammy over had given West Indies early advantage.

Sammy got Shikhar Dhawan with a short ball that didn't quite come on, and Kohli next ball with a delivery that was missing the stumps both on height and line. S Badrinath seemed to have put behind himself a nervous start, driving Sammy inside-out for a four. The next ball he drove beautifully too, but straight to mid-off, and in two seconds of absentmindedness he found himself half way down the pitch.

There was a sense of similarity between the run-out of Badrinath and that of Ramnaresh Sarwan in the first innings. Like Sarwan, Badrinath's bat stuck in the pitch as he dived. Like Sarwan, Badri would have struggled to make it anyway. In another similarity with the West Indies innings, Parthiv fell in the 40s just like his opening counterpart Lendl Simmons, leaving the game poised for an interesting finish. Suresh Raina spent little time in the middle before slogging at Kieron Pollard, top-edging a slower ball.

Simmons then produced an exceptional catch to send Yusuf Pathan back. At short midwicket, he was charging in to prevent the single when he saw a chip off Yusuf's bat seemingly lob him. He back-pedalled, way behind his original position, and then leapt in the air to complete the catch well behind his body.

50 overs West Indies 225 for 8 (Russell 92*, Simmons 45, Mishra 3-28, Munaf 3-60) v India
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How they were out

Amit Mishra is delighted after getting Marlon Samuels stumped, West Indies v India, 3rd ODI, Antigua, June 11, 2011

Amit Mishra had West Indies in a spin again

Transfixed by Amit Mishra's legspin, let down by their groundsmen, lazy between the wickets, out of depth against Harbhajan Singh's spin, West Indies were left needing a big effort from the bowlers to avoid yet another series defeat, a result that has been their fate against all Test-playing teams since they beat Sri Lanka in April 2008. They will be frustrated that once again a solid platform had been laid before a familiar collapse of six wickets for 31 runs. Andre Russell's maiden international fifty from 96 for 7, a resilient 92 off 64, provided some respectability, but it will take an equally pugnacious and skilled show with the ball to give them a chance in the defence.

The West Indies team management will be wondering what it will take to stop the groundsmen from preparing square turners against teams with the spinning pedigree of India and Pakistan. Mishra will not be bothered with that sort of thing, though. Once again he showed remarkable skill in tormenting batsmen who seem like they won't be able to read his variations if he wrote them down on paper. There was a spell of play when he ran through the middle order with three wickets for one run. There was everything: the small legbreak, the big legbreak, the straighter one, the flat googly, the flighted big googly.

Before Mishra mania, though, it all began - at 65 for 1 in the 15th over - with a mix of ordinary running, good fielding and some misfortune. West Indies had got off to a decent start through Lendl Simmons and Ramnaresh Sarwan. Even though they lost Kirk Edwards for nought to a good Munaf Patel outswinger, Simmons targeted the same bowler to get the innings underway, hitting him for a four and a six in the sixth over. Sarwan, too, made a positive start to depart from his ways of late, lofting Mishra's second delivery for a straight six.

Sarwan's running, though, remained slow, and was part of the reason why the collapse began. Simmons played just wide of midwicket, called him for a single, but Sarwan was slow to leave the crease. Suresh Raina was quick in returning a one-handed throw by the stumps, and as Sarwan - struggling to make it in the first place - slid his bat in, it stuck in the pitch. All over.

After that it was all Mishra. Marlon Samuels' wicket was a piece of smart bowling. Operating on a middle and leg line, Mishra bowled legbreaks with a crossed seam. The balls turned, but not big, and Samuels defended them. And then came the orthodox big legbreak, dipping at Samuels, luring him out of the crease, and then ripping across, beating the bat. Stumped.

Debutant Danza Hyatt, in because Dwayne Bravo wanted to be rested having played four ODIs and seven IPL games since the start of May, had no clue which way Mishra was turning. Even then the swipe to a googly that bowled him was ugly. The big blow, though, came when another big legbreak kissed Simmons' glove to deny him a sixth half-century in seven innings.

Harbhajan, who had supported Mishra well with five overs for just 11, then removed Kieron Pollard, but it wasn't clear if the edge had hit Parthiv Patel's pad as he fumbled the chance before catching it. Munaf came back with probing legcutters to remove the one man most likely to arrest the slide, Darren Sammy.

Russell and Carlton Baugh then started to fight. Mishra had already bowled out. Raina soon had to bring the part-timers on. They went for 65 in their 10, including Russell's back-to-back sixes off Yusuf Pathan in the 40th over.

The two added 78 for the eighth wicket, but that alone would have been strictly consolation. To make a fight out of it, West Indies would need something special. And special Russell was in the last three overs, scoring 42 off the last 14 balls he faced. The last two overs of the innings, bowled by Raina and Praveen Kumar, went for 37.

Russell just kept clearing the front leg, kept hitting off the middle of the bat, and the ball kept clearing the ground. Three sixes and three fours were hit in those last two overs, and Russell walked back to an applause from his team-mates.