Barbados: India’s T20 World Cup campaign virtually ended on Sunday after it lost to West Indies by 14 runs in a crucial Group F Super Eight encounter. West Indies, meanwhile, stayed in contention for a semi-final berth.
West Indies ruled the entire match since the very beginning. After being asked to bat first by Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the home team started their innings on a very steady note.
It was Chris Gayle and his boisterous 97 runs that helped his team post a competitive 169/6 against India.
Gayle showed no signs of exhaustion in the entire first innings as he, along with his opening partner Shivnarine Chanderpaul, gave a very stable start to their team’s batting campaign by making sure that they did not lose wickets early and kept adding runs through boundaries time and again.
The modest show turned pompous in the latter overs as Gayle hit some almighty skiers to almost single-handedly help West Indies post a cutthroat 169.
In the 12th over, however, India missed a vital chance of getting rid of Gayle. Gayle miscued a delivery by Ashish Nehra and sent the ball high. Both Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan went for the catch but due to a miscommunication, none of the two managed to grab it. This, indeed, was a lifeline for Gayle, who had scored his half-century by then.
After that, the Indian bowlers could find no key to stop the Gayle storm until the last over, when he was dismissed as a result of an unfortunate run-out, that also left him three runs short of his century.
A solid start that was given to the West Indies crumbled in the second half of the innings. First Chanderpaul (23) lost his wicket in the 12th over, then Darren Sammy (19) got dismissed in the 16th. Later Kieron Pollard (17), Dwayne Bravo (1), Ramnaresh Sarwan (0) and Gayle lost their wickets in the last 2 overs, thus ending the Windies innings at 169/6.
Nehra remained the star for India as he picked up three crucial wickets of Chanderpaul, Bravo and Sarwan.
If it was Gayle in the first innings, then it were the Windies bowlers in the second who did not give India even a little bit of breathing space.
Chasing a competitive target of 170 runs, the Indian team looked out of sorts since the very beginning as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
Starting on a disastrous note, India lost both their opening batsmen very cheaply within the first five overs itself; while Murali Vijay (7) lost his wicket in the fourth over, Gautam Gambhir got out in the next for 15 runs.
India never really revived from these early losses as there was no stopping to their loss of wickets later on. The wickets of Rohit Sharma (5), Suresh Raina (32) and Yuvraj Singh (12) fell like a pack of cards.
Later, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29), Yusuf Pathan (17) and Harbhajan Singh (14) made some significant contributions with their occasional boundaries, but they too could not last long.
The Indian innings wrapped up on 155 all out.