Cuttack: It was a match of fluctuating fortunes. It was match of allowing oppositions to come back by throwing wickets away. If Mumbai Test was the first part of a thriller, Cuttack ODI was Part-II.
Both the teams tried hard to lose this one. Unfortunately, it was West Indies who could do it successfully!
Rohit Sharma made a successful comeback to the international cricket after an injury lay-off guiding India close to victory after a horrendous start. He, along with tailender Vinay Kumar, took India to 201/7. Scribes sitting in the press box started writing an Indian win.
But chirpy Anthony Martin had another idea. He came up with a superb ball to dismiss Rohit Sharma for 72. The wicket opened the floodgates…Vinay Kumar then lobbed one to long-off to leave India in tatters on the same score. India, now, 201/9 and suddenly staring at the defeat.
The last pair of Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav were living dangerously in the middle while Rohit Sharma making all kinds of gestures sitting on the sidelines.
Scripts changed suddenly…from the verge of losing the match, the last wicket pair of Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav started to narrow the gap while playing here and there. Aaron hit one through the point to hit a four.
With three required, Yadav hit a stunning on-drive to guide India to a tense one-wicket win.
Rohit Sharma marked his return to the ODI fold with a fifty under tremendous pressure. He needed 62 balls to reach the milestone with the help 3 fours and a six.
Jadeja also played a crucial knock of 38 and his 62-ball knock consisted of just 3 fours. It was Jadeja, along with Rohit Sharma, who pulled India out of the woods with a fighting 83-run stand.
Despite losing 5 wickets early, India rebuilt their innings through a patient partnership between Rohit Sharma and allrounder Ravinder Jadeja. They put up a fifty-run stand off 73 balls to help India cross 100 before Jadeja was removed by Pollard.
Earlier, chasing 212 to go one up in the series, India started disastrously.
Parthiv Patel wasted another opportunity to cement his place in the Indian team as he threw away his wicket once again. Parthiv’s 13-ball 12 came to an end when he tried to cut an outside off-stump delivery from Kemar Roach over cover only to be caught at point by Anthony Martin.
Roach again struck in the same over as he dismissed No. 3 Gambhir for 4 off another outside off-stump delivery.
Kemar Roach was on fire as he sent down another superb good delivery to clean up Virat Kohli for 3. Kohli, who just joined Sehwag in the middle after the twin dismissal, was shocked by a fast delivery that came sharply from the off stump to disturb his stumps.
Skipper Virender Sehwag’s eventful stay at the crease came to an end as he was bowled by Andre Russell for 20. Sehwag was looking visibly upset by the movements behind the sightscreen before he was cleaned up by Russell. He hit three boundaries during his 29-ball 20 knock.
Suresh Raina became the fifth Indian batsman to fall as he was fooled by an Andre Russell slower delivery that was taken at mid-off by Bravo. Raina made 5 off 7 balls. India were in deep trouble then, losing half the side for just 59 runs.
Earlier, a fine performance by the Indian bowlers coupled with some terrible batting by the West Indian batsmen helped the hosts restrict the tourists for a below par 211/9 in the first ODI at Cuttack on Tuesday.
On paper every Indian bowler bowled well but Umesh Yadav (2/33) and R Ashwin were exceptional from the word go. Yadav bowled with a lot of fire and Aswin with guile to put West Indies on the back-foot.
Apart from them, Vinay Kumar (1/27), Varun Aaron (2/37), Jadeja (1/42) - all bowled well with Jadeja and Aaron being a touch expensive.
From the West Indies camp, it was Darren Bravo who put up some resistance against the clinical Indian bowlers.
Darren Bravo continued his good show with the bat as he scored yet another half-century in the series. Bravo’s fifty came from 56 balls with 6 classical hits to the fence.
After losing 3 wickets for just 52, talented Darren Bravo and Danza Hyatt gave the West Indies innings a much-needed stability and helped them cross the hundred-run mark. They handled both pace and spin well and kept on stealing singles and doubles in between.
Bravo was more fluent of the two as he attacked the Indian spinners whenever they erred in line and length. Indian spinners also kept a tight line.
Ashwin (1/30) was again economical in his initial overs, giving no room to the batsmen to free their arms.
Just when it seemed that Bravo and Hyatt would take WI to safety and lay an ideal platform for them to put up a big score, Hyatt got out, courtesy of a terrible misunderstanding while going for a second run which resulted in his run-out. Hyatt played really well for his 54-ball 31 which consisted of 2 fours and a six off Jadeja.
Part-time off-spinner Suresh Raina then got the most important wicket as he sent dangerous Darren Bravo to the pavilion for 60. Bravo’s 74-ball innings came to an end when he tried to drive a fastish delivery from Raina which slipped past the inner half of his bat and hit the off stump.
Much was expected of Kieron Pollard. But he flattered to deceive again. His patience finally ran out as he tried to loft one straight over the head of long-off fielder but was holed out by Kohli at the boundary off R Ashwin.
Pollard played the shot immediately after Bravo’s departure and got out for 33-ball 13. This has been the tragedy of the T20 specialists like Pollard all over the world. They never understand the importance of building an innings in an ODI game!
Earlier in the day, Vinay Kumar drew the first blood for India as he dismissed Adrian Barath with a perfect outswinger for 17 after Sehwag won the toss and elected to field first. Kumar’s delivery kissed the outside edge of Barath’s bat and landed in the safe hands of wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.
Barath was looking aggressive during his 13-ball stay at the crease. He hit 3 fours.
Varun Aaron started in a sensational manner, getting Marlon Samuels with his very first ball of the match for just 10. Samuels, who was trying to force the pace ever since he joined Lendl Simmons in the middle, was bowled by the new pace sensation of Indian cricket.
Yadav, who was bowling consistently close to 150 kmp/h mark, made the life difficult for all the top-order West Indies batsmen. The pressure he created from the one end also resulted in the fall of two wickets from the other.
West Indies (Playing XI): Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Danza Hyatt, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin(w), Darren Sammy(c), Andre Russell, Anthony Martin, Kemar Roach
India (Playing XI): Virender Sehwag(c), Parthiv Patel(w), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Vinay Kumar, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav
First Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 14:05