Roach tops birthday with Windies win
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Kemar Roach celebrated his 25th birthday in grand style, keeping his nerve with compatriot Tino Best to limp West Indies over the finish line to a one-wicket victory over India, after Johnson Charles depressingly fell for 97 in the Celkon Mobile Cup Series on Sunday here.
Roach replaced batting hero Charles, as West Indies, chasing 230 for victory, needed 19 from 58 deliveries with two wickets standing in the second match of the Series at Sabina Park.
Things became more intriguing, when Sunil Narine was caught at mid-on off Suresh Raina for five, leaving Roach and Best to nervously gather the final 10 runs.
Roach formalised the victory when he squeezed a delivery from Umesh Yadav through square leg for a single to carry West Indies to their target with 14 balls remaining.
The result meant West Indies soared to the top of the standings with nine points, following a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the opening match last Friday at the same venue.
West Indies travel on Monday to Trinidad, where they will face the Indians in their third match this coming Friday at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, while India meet Sri Lanka in an all-Asian duel on Tuesday at this venue.
Disciplined bowling from West Indies kept the Indian batting juggernaut on a tight rein, restricting the World No.1, reigning World One-day champions and recently-crowned ICC Champions Trophy winners to 229 for seven from their allocation of 50 overs.
Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach and Tino Best all collected two wickets, as Rohit Sharma hit the top score of 60 from 89 balls for India, Suresh Raina supported with 44, Mahendra Singh Dhoni made 27 and Dinesh Karthik 23.
West Indies were set back early in the chase, when Chris Gayle, a century-maker in the first match, was caught at short cover off Umesh Yadav for 11 in the second over.
Fellow left-hander Devon Smith was trapped lbw for a duck playing across his front pad two overs later and Marlon Samuels was bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for one off the inside edge, playing a lazy, back-foot defensive shot.
Darren Bravo joined Charles and they batted sedately to bring West Indies back into the match with a fourth-wicket stand of 116. Both batsmen looked unflappable throughout the partnership, mixing controlled aggression with sound defence.
Charles had got into stride early, when he smashed three fours – two through mid-off and the other through mid-on – off Kumar in the third over.
Bravo scorched a trademark extra cover drive off Ishant Sharma for his first boundary to get the blood flowing and continued to bat fluently throughout his innings.
Charles reached his 50 from 60 balls when he drove Ashwin through cover for two and Bravo soon followed off 72 balls when he glanced Yadav to deep fine leg for four.
The two batsmen appeared to have the Indian bowling literally at their mercy on a docile pitch, but Bravo was caught at mid-wicket from a mistimed pull off Ashwin for 55 off 78 balls that included five fours and one six – and this is when the problems started for West Indies.
The home team lost three wickets for 19 in 24 balls, stumbling to 161 for six, as stand-in West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was caught behind for four off Ishant Sharma nibbling at a short ball outside the off-stump and Denesh Ramdin was bowled by Ashwin for four.
Darren Sammy came to the crease and dominated a 36-run, seventh-wicket stand with compatriot Charles, striking two fours and three sixes in 29 from 25 balls to put West Indies back on track.
But Sammy’s enterprise soon became his Achilles Heel, when he miscued a hook at a short, rising ball from Ishant Sharma and was caught from a meaty top-edge at third man in the 37th over.
Charles started to farm the bowling, inching closer to the 100-run threshold, before he was caught at deep mid-off trying to reach his milestone. He struck seven fours and four sixes from 100 balls.
Hearts sunk, when Narine fell, but Best and Roach put the memory of an ill-fated chase for their native Barbados in the Regional Super50 Tournament three years ago firmly behind them, taking West Indies to the promised land.
Earlier, Roach held a return catch to dismiss new Indian batting sensation Shikhar Dhawan for 11 in the fifth over, after the visitors were put in to bat.
Sammy had Virat Kohli caught brilliantly at slip by Gayle for 11 in the 10th over, leaving India wobbling on 39 for two.
But West Indies were put on their heels, when Rohit Sharma anchored the Indian innings with an 89-ball innings that included four fours and one six, putting on 59 for the third wicket with Dinesh Karthik.
West Indies continued to bowl tight lines and lengths, keeping up the pressure on the Indian batsmen and claimed wickets at critical stages throughout the visitors’ innings.
After they were kept at bay, as Sharma and Raina put on 58 for the fifth wicket, West Indies claimed three more wickets for 48 runs in the final seven overs to enhance their chances of victory.
West Indies were without their regular captain Dwayne Bravo and fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, after the pair sustained injuries on Friday during the first match of the Series, when they beat Sri Lanka by six wickets at the same venue.
Bravo and Rampaul had scans on Saturday evening which revealed the full extent of their injuries.
Bravo has a slight groin strain, but he is expected to be fit for the second leg of the Series next week in Trinidad.
Rampaul suffered a sprained left ankle while bowling and is expected to be out of action for three weeks. He will return to Trinidad to continue his rehabilitation.
In Bravo's absence, Pollard led West Indies for the first time in an international match, while Smith and Best replaced the injured pair.
India played the same 11 that beat England in the Final of the ICC Champions Trophy last Sunday at the Oval. It was the sixth straight time this line-up was taking the field.
INDIA (maximum 50 overs)
R. Sharma c Charles b Sammy 60
S. Dhawan c and b Roach 11
V. Kohli c Gayle b Sammy 11
+D. Karthik c and b Samuels 23
S. Raina c wkpr Ramdin b Roach 44
*M.S. Dhoni b Best 27
R. Jadeja b Best 15
R. Ashwin not out 5
B. Kumar not out 11
Extras (b5, lb6, w9, nb2) 22
TOTAL (7 wkts, 50 overs) 229
I. Sharma, U. Yadav did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Dhawan, 4.2 overs); 2-39 (Kohli, 9.1); 3-98 (Karthik, 25.3); 4-124 (Sharma, 30.6); 5-182 (Raina, 42.6); 6-197 (*Singh, 46.1); 7-212 (Jadeja, 48.4)
Bowling: Roach 10-2-41-2 (w3); Best10-0-52-2 (nb2, w4) ; Sammy 10-3-41-2; Pollard 1-0-8-0 (w1); Narine 10-0-56-0 (w1); Samuels 9-1-20-1
WEST INDIES (target: 230 off 50 overs)
C. Gayle c Raina b Yadav 11
J. Charles c I. Sharma b Yadav 97
D.S. Smith lbw b Yadav 0
M. Samuels b Kumar 1
D.M. Bravo c Dhawan b Ashwin 55
*K. Pollard c wkpr Karthik b I. Sharma 4
+D. Ramdin b Ashwin 4
D. Sammy c Ashwin b I. Sharma 29
K. Roach not out 14
S. Narine c Dhawan b Raina 5
T. Best not 3
Extras (lb2, w5) 7
TOTAL (9 wkts, 47.4 overs) 230
Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Gayle, 1.4 overs); 2-25 (Smith, 3.1); 3-26 (Samuels, 4.1); 4-142 (Bravo, 27.5); 5-155 (Pollard, 30.2); 6-161 (Ramdin, 31.4); 7-197 (Sammy, 36.5); 8-211 (Charles, 40.2); 9-220 (Narine, 43.2)
Bowling: Kumar 7-1-36-1 (w1); Yadav 9.4-2-43-3 (w2); Jadeja 10-1-50-0; I. Sharma 9-0-51-2 (w2); Ashwin 10-0-44-2; Raina 2-1-4-1
Result: West Indies won by one wicket (14 balls remaining)
Points: West Indies 4, India 0
Man-of-the-Match: J. Charles (West Indies)
Umpires: I. Gould (England), P. Nero (West Indies)
TV umpire: J. Wilson (West Indies)
Match referee: J. Crowe (New Zealand)
Reserve umpire: N. Duguid (West Indies)