• Friday, February 27, 2015

Anticlimax under lights at Mirpur

Bishwajit Roy
India spinner Ravindra Jadeja (L) claps to celebrate one of his three West Indies wickets in their ICC World Twenty20 encounter at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. PHOTO: FIROZ AHMED
India spinner Ravindra Jadeja (L) claps to celebrate one of his three West Indies wickets in their ICC World Twenty20 encounter at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. PHOTO: FIROZ AHMED

A lot was expected and one match lived up to the hype, but the second of the ICC World Twenty20 Super 10s clashes at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur last night proved to be an anti-climax as India put on yet another clinical display to post a seven-wicket victory against defending champions West Indies. The Indian bowlers laid the foundation once again for their batsmen to script a comfortable win like they had against Pakistan in the first game.
After a short delay to India's chase of 130 caused by confusion over whether a run had to be added to West Indies' total, India took the match to the last over and won it with two balls remaining, but the fans started to leave the stands long before while Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma simply toyed with the West Indies bowlers. Needing one run from the last six balls, Yuvraj Singh played two dot balls against Marlon Samuels and was dismissed off the third ball, leaving Suresh Raina to finish the job for his side. But before that Kohli (54) and Sharma (62 not out) hit fluent half-centuries and shared a 107-run second-wicket stand after Shikhar Dhawan was trapped leg before by Samuel Badree in the fifth ball of the innings.      
There was no shortage of fireworks as bat dominated leather in the first match between Pakistan and Australia, and the same was expected when West Indies were invited to bat first by India skipper MS Dhoni in the second game. It was thought that with explosive batsmen like Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith leading the charge, defending champions West Indies had the strength in batting to test the Indian bowling attack, which is perceived as being a weak point.
But pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami tested the West Indies opening pair and applied stifling pressure and the Caribbean outfit could not recover. Kumar was outstanding, giving away only three runs in three overs.
Gayle was the top-scorer for his side with 34 off 33 balls with one four and two sixes and he must thank his luck but it was a very scratchy effort from the explosive batsman, who could barely middle anything on the day. And the rest of the batsmen were nothing short of ordinary.
In the last ball of the second over, Gayle was dropped and Ravichandran Ashwin was the culprit at slip to deprive Shami.
After hitting a six Gayle top-edged a googly from first match hero Amit Mishra in the second ball of the seventh over but Yuvraj Singh dropped a sitter at midwicket. On the third occasion the ball fell just short of Virat Kohli at midwicket off the same bowler.

The Indians eventually got rid of him in the 13th over after Marlon Samuels called him through for an ill-judged single and the slow-running Gayle was run out. Before that Ashwin gave the first breakthrough in the eighth over by removing the struggling Dwayne Smith, who scored 11 off 29 balls.
Magical Mishra then demolished the West Indians by taking two wickets off consecutive deliveries of the 15th over to make sure West Indies were well short of a competitive total against the vaunted Indian batting line up and later received the man of the match award.
Mishra tossed up a leg-break which Marlon Samuels came forward to negotiate but was beaten in the flight and MS Dhoni made no mistake to light up the bails and then Dwayne Bravo was trapped in front by a googly for a first-ball duck.
Lendl Simmons then produced some big shots during his 22-ball 27; two sixes against Ravindra Jadeja in the last over. Jadeja conceded 21 runs in the last over as Sunil Narine smashed another for six to finish with figures of three for 48 in four overs.
A miserable T20 innings ended with some solace.

Published: 12:00 am Monday, March 24, 2014

Last modified: 12:53 am Monday, March 24, 2014

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