Windies go down by 4 wkts
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – West Indies were again let down by inept batting and crashed to a four-wicket defeat in the opening Digicel Pearls One Day International of the five-match series against India here Monday. Their inadequate total of 214 for five off their 50 overs left their bowlers with too much to do on a lifeless Queen’s Park Oval pitch, and India overcame some early jitters to cruise to 217 for six with just over five overs left. The visitors’ run chase was anchored by an unbeaten 68 from Rohit Sharma while opener Shikhar Dhawan got 51 in only his second ODI innings. Pacer Ravi Rampaul claimed two for 58 while leg-spinner Anthony Martin finished with two for 39, but regrettably there were not enough runs to bowl at. Ramnaresh Sarwan and Marlon Samuels stroked half-centuries after West Indies had earlier won the toss and opted to bat. With the hosts struggling at 59 for three in the 19th over, Sarwan hit 56 and Samuels, 55, to pull the innings around. The two stylish right-handers posted 82 for the third wicket, laying the platform for a late innings rally that never materialised as India’s varied attack kept a tight rein on scoring. Off-spinners Harbhajan Singh (3-32) and Suresh Raina (2-23) led the attack while seamers Praveen Kumar (2-37) and Munaf Patel (2-47) snatched two wickets apiece. Sarwan faced 94 balls and stroked five fours while Samuels struck three fours and two sixes in an innings that required 75 balls. However, their partnership was a slow one consuming 118 balls and it left West Indies with plenty to do at the business end of the innings. The duo seemed set to push on when Sarwan flicked a leg-side catch to the wicketkeeper off Munaf in the 38th over and Samuels followed him soon after, bowled between his legs trying to pull a straight one from Raina. All-rounder Dwayne Bravo then cracked 22 from 20 balls with a six but when he was stumped off Harbhajan in the in the 45th over at 191 for six, West Indies could only scrape 23 runs from the last five overs as they lost three quick wickets. West Indies had gotten a poor start when openers Lendl Simmons (6) and Kirk Edwards (21) struggled in adding 23 from 37 balls. Both eventually gifted their wickets in frustration. Simmons, who struck one lovely straight boundary, clubbed a catch to Harbhajan at mid-off off Kumar in the seventh over and Darren Bravo (4) played loosely at Munaf to edge a simple catch to first slip in the next over at 28 for two. Edwards, who always looked out of sorts and was put down on six by Sharma at slip off Munaf in the fourth over, finally top-edged a pull to first slip off Harbhajan, to end his 45-ball torment. West Indies were in with a chance when they reduced India to 61 for three in the 16th over but successive partnerships batted them out of the game. The slide was triggered by Dwayne Bravo whose direct hit accounted for Parthiv Patel (13) at 29 for one in the sixth over and it continued when Virat Kohli featured a catch behind off Rampaul in the next over for two. When Subramaniam Badrinath (17) also edged behind off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, the Windies scented an upset but these lofty notions were quickly dispelled by two solid partnerships. Sharma, who hit three fours and a six off 75 balls, combined with Dhawan in a stand of 53 for the fourth wicket to repair the innings before Dhawan gifted his wicket by holing out to mid-wicket off Martin in the 26th over. His dismissal paved the way for an 80-run, fifth wicket stand between Sharma and his captain Raina whose 43 came from 50 balls and included four fours. By the time Raina lofted Martin to Simmons at long-on in the 41st over, any chance the Windies had of a win had already slipped. WEST INDIES L Simmons c Harbhajan Singh b Kumar 6 K Edwards c Kohli b Harbhajan Singh 21 D Bravo c Sharma b M Patel 4 R Sarwan c wkp P Patel b M Patel 56 M Samuels b Raina 55 D Bravo st Patel b Harbhajan Singh 22 +C Baugh lbw b Harbhajan Singh 16 *D Sammy lbw b Kumar 4 R Rampaul not out 9 D Bishoo lbw b Raina 0 A Martin not out 2 Extras ((lb5, w12, nb2) 19 TOTAL (9 wkts, 50 overs) 214 Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Simmons, 6.1 overs), 2-28 (DM Bravo, 7.5), 3-59 (Edwards, 18.2), 4-141 (Sarwan, 38), 5-177 (Samuels, 42.4), 6-191 (DJ Bravo, 44.5), 7-198 (Baugh, 47), 8-204 (Sammy, 47.5), 9-206 (Bishoo, 49). Bowling: Kumar 10-1-37-2, Munaf Patel 9-1-47-2, Mishra 10-1-38-0, Harbhajan Singh 10-0-32-3, Yusuf Pathan 2-0-16-0, Raina 6-0-23-2, Kohli 3-1-16-0. INDIA +P Patel run out 13 S Dhawan c Simmons b Martin 51 V Kohli c wkp Baugh b Rampaul 2 S Badrinath c wkp Baugh b Bishoo 17 R Sharma not out 68 *S Raina c Simmons b Martin 43 Y Pathan c & b Rampaul 10 Harbhajan Singh not out 6 Extras (lb3, w3, nb1) 7 TOTAL (6 wkts, 44.5 overs) 217 Did not bat: P Kumar, M Patel, A Mishra. Fall of wickets: 1-29 (P Patel, 5.2 overs), 2-34 (Kohli, 6.5), 3-61 (Badrinath, 15.3), 4-104 (Dhawan, 25.4), 5-184 (Raina, 40.1), 6-210 (Pathan, 44) Bowling: Rampaul 10-0-58-2, Martin 10-0-39-2, Sammy 9.5-0-52-0, Bishoo 10-1-37-1, Bravo 2-0-17-0, Simmons 3-0-11-0. Result: India won four wickets. Series: India lead five-match series 1-0. Man-of-the-Match: Rohit Sharma. Toss: West Indies. Umpires: Ian Gould, Peter Nero; TV – Norman Malcolm.