West Indies beat India by 8 wickets, level series 1-1

West Indies beat India by 8 wickets, level series 1-1

West Indies cricket team captain Chris Gayle (C) leaves the field after being dismissed as Indian players celebrate. AFPAfter dismissing the visitors for a modest 188 in 48.2 overs, the Caribbean team rode on openers Chris Gayle (64) and Runako Morton (85) to overhaul the target in 34.1 overs and level the four match series 1-1.

Earlier, electing to bat first, Dhoni waged a lonely battle as India succumbed to a batting collapse against a ferocious pace attack lead by West Indies pacer Ravi Rampaul.

Rampaul produced a career best four-wicket haul and combined with Jerome Taylor (3/35) to rip through the top-order before joining hands with Dwayne Bravo (3/26) to polish the lower order.

Chasing 189 to win, West Indies got off to a rollicking start with Gayle taking the Indian attack by the scruff of its neck and Morton playing initially the second fiddle.

Gayle looked dangerous as he punished the bowlers at will. Ashish Nehra faced his wrath in the 8th over when he clobbered the left-handed pacer out of the park and followed it up with a couple of boundaries to amass 16 runs.

Gayle also slog sweeped Harbhajan Singh for a six in the 15th over to bring up the hundred before his blitzkrieg innings was brought to an end by a stunning catch by Gautam Ghambir at long off in the next over.

Ramnaresh Sarwan then added 15 runs before being deceived by Rohit Sharma as Dhoni completed an easy stumping.

However, Morton chugged along nicely and with Shivnarine Chanderpaul (18) made sure there were no more hiccups as West Indies cruised to 192 for two.

Earlier, Dhoni struck six boundaries and a couple of sixes in his innings and stitched together a record 101-run partnership for the ninth wicket with RP Singh to lead India's recovery after they were reduced to 82 for eight in 22 overs.

Dhoni's decision to bat first backfired as India lost half their side inside 15 overs with three batsmen going for a duck.

The visitors had a pathetic start losing Dinesh Karthik (4), Gautam Gambhir (0) and Rohit Sharma (0) - to be left tottering at eight for three in 1.4 overs.

Playing his first match in the tournament, pacer Ravi Rampaul struck twice in his first over but it was his partner Jerome Taylor who drew first blood removing Karthik in the fifth ball of the innings.

Karthik's outside edge found Ramdin, while a lame poke at an outside delivery brought Gambhir's demise. Rohit also followed suit when his edge flew to Ramdin, who popped it to Runako Morton at second slip.

Yuvraj Singh (35) and Dhoni then steadied the ship and indulged in singles and twos to take India across the fifty in 11 overs.

Yuvraj played some scintillating shot, which included five boundaries and a flat six off Rampaul in the 10th over, before falling prey to Taylor, two overs later.

With India on the backfoot, Skipper Chris Gayle's decided to take the fielding powerplay after 10 overs and it paid off straight away as West Indies scalped two wickets giving away just 11 runs to reduce India to 57-5 in 14.2 overs.

After Yuvraj was sent packing, new-man Yousuf Pathan (0) also didn't last long and was done in by a short-pitch delivery off Dwayne Bravo.

Ravinder Jadeja (7) also gave a catching practice to Denesh Ramdin off Rampaul, while Harbhajan Singh (7) edged one from Bravo. Praveen Kumar (1) also was back in the hut after some time as India reeled at 82 for eight in 22 overs.

Running short of partners, Dhoni decided to take the third powerplay after the 22nd over and along with RP singh crossed the hundred mark in 27 overs en route to their record partnership.

Singh (23) departed in the 48th over to put an end to the partnership, while Dhoni too fell five runs short of a well-deserving century when his furniture was rocked by a slower delivery from Taylor in the 49th over.

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