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Monday, 25 November 2013

Report: India vs West Indies - 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam, 2013


Chasing 289, West Indies pulled off a nerve-racking two-wicket win to level the three-match ODI series against India 1-1. A late onslaught by Darren Sammy (63*) in a 82-run partnership with Lendl Simmons, after Kieran Powell and Darren Bravo laid the platform with half-centuries, ensured that the West Indies made a match of it. Holding his own in trying conditions, even as he lost partners at the other end towards the end of the innings, Sammy helped achieve the challenging target with three balls to spare at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.
Opting to bowl first in the must-win match at Vizag, West Indies got off to a good start by sending back Rohit Sharma for 12. The in-form India opener edged Ravi Rampaul to Sammy at second slip. And 48 runs later, Shikhar Dhawan too was back in the dressing room, trapped lbw by Veerasammy Permaul. En route to his 35, the destructive opener became the third Indian batsman to score 1000 runs in 2013 behind Virat Kohli and Rohit.
After the departure of the openers, Kohli held up one end and shaped the hosts’ innings with 99 off 100 balls. Although he survived a half-chance off the West Indies captain, the No.3 batsman’s otherwise effortless batting display was a sight to behold on a tough wicket. He stitched a 69-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh, who had plodded his way to 28 before departing.
Kohli continued to do the hard yards and built a 65-run partnership with Suresh Raina before the latter walked back for 23. Couple of overs later, an excellent low catch by Jason Holder near the boundary ended Kohli's knock one short of a well-deserved century.  However, MS Dhoni didn’t let the relief last long as he attacked and clobbered the West Indies bowlers. Ravindra Jadeja then joined MS Dhoni in the middle, but after contributing just 10 runs to the total he became Rampual's fourth scalp for the day. But with Ravichandran Ashwin for company the India captain took on the West Indies bowlers to help India to 288.
Dhoni once again scored crucial runs at a quick pace to give India an edge in the game and set a challenging target. He belted 51 off 40 balls and his 20-ball partnership with Ashwin yielded 47 runs in the death overs.
Defending the total, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and his new-ball partner, Mohit Sharma, struck early to leave the WI on 23 for two in the sixth over. Johnson Charles hit the ball straight back at the bowler and Bhuvneshwar caught it at his midriff. And three overs later, Dhoni took an excellent catch close to the stumps as a Mohit delivery took the edge of Samuels’ willow.  
Powell and Darren Bravo then joined forces to keep the visitors in the game. Darren Bravo survived chances when he was on 44 and 45. He was given a life by the Indian ‘keeper off Ashwin and a ball later an edge flew to slips, but Raina was unable to grasp the difficult chance. On the first ball of the next over, a hard hit return catch eluded Mohammed Shami. However, the batsman was able to collect only five runs more before he was sent back for fifty by Ashwin in the next over.
Four overs later, Powell followed him back; stumped by Dhoni as he travelled down the track to take on Ashwin and found himself in no man’s land.    
With 142 runs required, the WI captain joined Simmons in the middle and the pair had taken the team to 185 when Dwayne took the aerial route against Bhuvneshwar and was caught by Dhawan at deep square-leg. Simmons then continued to rally on with Sammy.  
Though only 15 runs came off the batting powerplay, the WI batsmen counterattacked. With Sammy hitting a couple of boundaries off  Shami they earned 12 runs off the 41st over and collected 11 off the next three overs, the first of which also saw Simmons being dropped by Yuvraj Singh at the long-on boundary while on 43. Sammy powered on and his sixes and boundaries took the pressure off.
However, in the following over, Jadeja trapped Simmons lbw and with 27 needed off 18 balls Holder came to the crease. And though the pair gained 16 from Bhuvneshwar’s over, Shami struck a double-blow in the next to dismiss Holder and Narine, and conceded three of it.
Three runs short of victory Sammy with Permaul helped the team across the line.
Man of the Match:  Darren Sammy for his sparkling 63 off 45 to pull off a win

Darren Sammy is the Man of the Match. Sammy: "I must thank my team-mates for giving me another opportunity. It must have been difficult to do that, seeing how the series has gone for me. Simmons and I communicated well. We backed ourselves to get 90-odd in the last ten overs. Once I am hitting the ball nicely, it was always good for me. Good to contribute in a crucial game."

Dwayne Bravo: "Great team effort. Holder and Rampaul gave us a good start, can't forget young Permaul. Once we got the Indians under 300, we backed ourselves to chase. We planned very well. It was a must-win game for us. We communicated well on the field. The bowlers executed. We fielded well. Bowling to MS, the best player in the world, is always difficult. Well done to young Powell, Simmons and Darren Sammy. Myself getting out at a crucial time. Our aim was for one of the top five batters to bat through the innings. We had four half-centuries today, so that was good."

MS Dhoni: "There was a lot of dew, was difficult for bowlers to even grip the ball, let along putting it in right areas. Toss was crucial. To take it to the last over was a superb bowling effort. The spinners did really well. When we went into bowl, there was plenty of dew, and it kept getting worse. It was very difficult to score runs and rotate strike. We saw that when they batted as well. If there was no dew, 289 was 400-odd on this pitch with so much turn and bounce."


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