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Windies hand champs India a drubbing

By Harish Kotian at Lord's
Last updated on: June 13, 2009 15:23 IST
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West Indies continued their stunning run in the ICC World Twenty20, upsetting defending champions India by seven wickets in the Super Eights at Lord's on Friday.

Riding on Dwayne Bravo's quickfire 66 from 36 deliveries, the West Indies, replying to India's 153 for 7, finished comfortably with 156 for 3 in 18.4 overs.

Lendl Simmons chipped with a vital knock of 44 from 37 deliveries, adding 58 runs for the third wicket with Bravo to keep the Windies in the hunt in the middle overs.

Earlier, Yuvraj Singh played an entertaining innings of 67 from 43 deliveries, inclusive of six boundaries and two sixes, to help India recover from a disastrous start. He accelerated efficiently in the latter part of his innings as he added 64 runs in 35 deliveries for the fifth wicket with Yusuf Pathan, who also came up with a timely knock of 31 from 23 deliveries.

Fidel Edwards rocked India early, dismissing Rohit Sharma (5) and Suresh Raina (5) in his first two overs, and finished with three for 24 in four overs. Dwayne Bravo claimed four vital wickets but went for 38 runs.

India:

India went in with an unchanged squad for the third straight game and elected to bat on winning the toss.

Interestingly, this was the first meeting between the two sides at the historic Lord's in 26 years. The last match between India and the West Indies at the venue was the 1983 World Cup final, which India won to claim its first and only 50-over World Cup title.

Watching the proceedings from Lord's gallery was batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, with wife Anjali and son Arjun. The ace batsman, who made himself unavailable for national Twenty20 selection so as not to upset the team's winning combination, released Tendulkar Opus, an 800-page coffee table book, on Thursday.

Gautam Gambhir got off to a good start with a delightful shot off his pads to the fine leg boundary off the second ball of the match. Rohit Sharma was more brutal though when he played a cracking pull shot off a fast delivery (149 kmph) from Fidel Edwards in the next over.

But that same shot caused his downfall. Edwards dropped it short again and Rohit responded to the challenge. However, this time he got only a top-edge and was caught by Lendl Simmons at the square leg boundary for 5. (12-1, 1.2)

India made a change to their batting order, Suresh Raina walking in at number three instead of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

However, Raina could not contribute much and became Edwards's second victim of the innings. The left-hander, who made 5, tried to play it fine towards third man but got an edge which was nicely taken by wicketkeeper Dinesh Ramdin. (27-2, 3.5)

Two deliveries later it was the turn of Gambhir to join his mates in the dug out; he too fell to a fast, short delivery. The left-hander also top-edged a pull shot off Dwayne Bravo and was brilliantly taken by Simmons, running backwards at backward square leg. (29-3, 4.2)

After two easy matches in the group stages, India were suddenly feeling the heat against some quality fast bowling as they lost three wickets for 17 runs in 21 deliveries.

Yuvraj Singh brought some smiles back to the Indian camp when he slammed Edwards for a cracking boundary straight down the ground, as India reached 40 for three in six overs.

Dhoni struggled to get going at the start of his innings, managing just five runs in his first 15 deliveries. In fact, the run rate was taking a sharp dive with every passing over as just 14 came in four overs, with India 54 for three in 10 overs.

Dhoni's misery ended when he lashed at a short delivery from Bravo straight to Andrew Fletcher at the cover boundary. The Indian captain played a painstaking innings of 11 from 23 deliveries, without a single to the boundary. (66-4, 12.1)

Yuvraj, it seemed, had enough of the West Indies' domination and smashed Bravo for a boundary through point, the first for India in seven overs. He could have perished off the next delivery for 32 when he flicked one towards square leg, but Fletcher spilled a simple running catch in the 13th over.

Indian fans finally came to life in the 14th over when Yuvraj slog-swept left arm-spinner Sulieman Been for a huge six over midwicket. The left-hander, named vice-captain, decided it was time to force a move along and flicked Bravo through square leg for a boundary.

In the same over, Yusuf Pathan joined in the party, playing a late cut for a boundary, followed by a powerful six over long-on. That over from Bravo fetched 16 runs, the best of India's innings so far, as they reached 97 for four after 15 overs.

Yusuf brought up India's 100-run mark in style when he slapped Benn straight down the ground for his second boundary in the 16th over.

At the other end, Yuvraj brought up his half-century off 37 deliveries with a flicked boundary through midwicket off Benn. He had suddenly changed gears in the last few overs and smashed 22 runs in the last seven deliveries to give India's run rate the much needed boost.

The two batsmen also brought up their 50-run partnership off 27 deliveries, inclusive of six boundaries and two sixes, in the 17th over. Yuvraj followed up that with a boundary and a flicked six off consecutive deliveries off Taylor as India reached 126 for four after 17 overs.

Yuvraj's entertaining innings of 67 came to an end when he was caught and bowled by Edwards. The left-hander, who hit six boundaries and two sixes in 43 deliveries, attempted to pull the fast bowler but failed to get it off the middle.  (130-5, 17.4)

He, however, had played a big part in rescuing India with his 64-run partnership in 5.3 overs for the fifth wicket with Yusuf after that disastrous start.

Yusuf fell in the final over, bowled by Bravo for 31 from 23 deliveries, having hit three boundaries and a six. (140-6, 19.1)

His younger brother Irfan also joined him back in the hut two deliveries later when he holed out to Simmons at deep midwicket after scoring just 2. (141-7, 19.3)

Harbhajan Singh, however, ended the innings in style, hitting three consecutive boundaries off the last three deliveries. He was not out on 13 from four deliveries as India finished on a competitive 153 for seven in their 20 overs.

India must be relieved to end up with this score after smashing 56 runs in the last five overs.

West Indies:

Chris Gayle made his intentions clear from the outset, hitting Zaheer Khan for two boundaries in the first over of the innings. But India struck early when Irfan Pathan dismissed Andre Fletcher for a duck, caught at mid-off in the second over. (9-1, 1.2)

Yusuf Pathan was introduced as early as the third over, in place of Zaheer, and he conceded just six runs in his first over.

Harbhajan, introduced in the last over of Powerplay, started confidently with a maiden over against Gayle as the West Indies reached 32 for one after six overs.

After just one over, Harbhajan was replaced by Yusuf and that move paid off handsomely. Gayle tried to pull a short delivery from Yusuf, but could only top edge the quicker delivery and was caught at short fine leg. The West Indies captain never got going and made just 22 from 28 deliveries, inclusive of four boundaries. (42-2, 7.4)

After his useful knock with the bat, Yusuf played a crucial role with the ball with returns of one for 27 in four overs.

The West Indies were 61 for two at the halfway stage and required another 84 runs from the last ten overs.

Dwayne Bravo looked positive right from the outset and even played an elegant lofted cover drive off Harbhajan to race to 27 from 17 deliveries.

Zaheer came on for his second spell and bowled a brilliant over to Simmons except for a misfield by Yusuf that went to the boundary.

With the required run rate going up with every over, Simmons decided it was time to take on Pragyan Ojha. He went for the slog sweep but top edged it and was taken by Irfan Pathan at square leg. He was dismissed for 44 from 37 deliveries. (100-3, 14.3)

Bravo then decided it was time to go all out and launched Ojha for a six over long-on off the very next delivery. The West Indies were not far behind the asking rate, having reached 109 for three after 15 overs and needing another 45 from the last 30 deliveries.

Bravo was making all the difference for the West Indies. He slammed Ishant straight down the ground for a six and took a double off the next delivery to bring up his half-century off just 29 deliveries.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul cut Ishant through point for a boundary to get 16 runs from the 17th over and bring the equation down to 23 from 18 deliveries.

Harbhajan went for 15 runs in the 18th over as Chanderpaul hit him for two boundaries to set West Indies on the victory path.

And Bravo finished it in some style when he played an inside out shot against Zaheer for a huge six over covers to win the match. He was unbeaten on 66 from a mere 36 deliveries, inclusive of four boundaries and three sixes as the West Indies reached 156 for three in 18.4 overs.

It was reality check for the Indians who had an easy outing in the first two matches against Bangladesh and Ireland and were found wanting when it came to a big opponent.

They must now beat England on Sunday to keep their hopes of making it to the last four of the tournament alive.

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Harish Kotian at Lord's
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