Double delight for Delhi Dasher

Double delight for Delhi Dasher

Stand-in skipper smashes world record 219 to lead India to series victory over West Indies

Double delight for Delhi Dasher

Indian batsman Virender Sehwag celebrates after scoring a double century (200 runs) during the fourth one-day international cricket match between India and West Indies at The Holkar Stadium in Indore on Thursday. AFPThe batsman, looking set for only the second double ton in the history of one-day internationals, pointed his bat towards a sheepish-looking West Indian skipper as if to thank his rival number for the ‘favour’.

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, India’s stand-in skipper, on 170 when he was reprieved, blazed his way to 219 (149b, 25x4, 7x6) that powered the hosts to series win over the West Indies here on Thursday night at the Holkar Stadium.

After posting their highest ODI total – 418 for five – India bowled out the visitors to 265 in 49.2 overs to register a comprehensive 153-run win to take an unassailable 3-1 lead going into Chennai’s final match on Sunday. On a day when Sehwag authored a masterpiece, Denesh Ramdin’s valiant run-a-ball 96 was a mere footnote.

While the day largely belonged to Sehwag, debutant Rahul Sharma (3/43) managed to steal some limelight with three crucial blows when the West Indies were going berserk. The Punjab leg-spinner struck thrice in his first three overs -- all with the last ball of each over and all bowled – to reduce the match into a no-contest.

Sehwag, who also completed 8000 ODI runs during his knock, won the toss for the fourth time in succession, but this time opted to bat first on what appeared a batting beauty. Having endured a succession of poor starts in the previous three matches, India went in with their tried and tested pair at the top, Sehwag partnering his Delhi mate Gautam Gambhir (67, 67, 11x4). The move paid handsome returns as the left-right combination laid a strong platform for a big total.

Having warmed up with a flicked four off Ravi Rampaul, Sehwag played an uppercut to deposit Kemar Roach over thirdman fence. For the next few minutes, Gambhir, dropped on 20 by Andre Russell off his own bowling, struck a series of fours before his senior mate firmly took the charge welcoming off-spinner Sunil Narine with a lofted six over long-on. A placid pitch and superfast outfield had already blunted the visiting attack but a supreme lack of intensity on the field and bowlers’ own profligacy ensured that the mayhem got only more brutal.

Slight slip-up
Sehwag seldom spares even a good delivery and a slight slip-up either in line or length is inviting trouble. But West Indies seemed to welcome a calamity on the day. The 33-year-old reached his first 50 runs in 41 balls but that was only an appetiser before the main course. The opener consumed a mere 28 balls to bring up his 15th ODI ton (69b, 10x4, 5x6).

While Sehwag was bruising in his assault, Gambhir hurt the Windies no less with his deft slices and cuts. The only jarring note between the two was a surprising lack of understanding while running between the wickets which eventually resulted in the dismissal of Gambhir. The damage, however, had been done as an impressive 176 had come in a matter of 137 balls.

A struggling Suresh Raina was promoted to number three and the left-hander did his cause no harm with a strokeful 55 (44b, 6x4) before he ran himself out going for a non-existent second run after adding 140 (105b) for the second wicket. Raina is one of the fiercest hitters of the cricket ball but looked a mute spectator in front of Sehwag’s breathtaking blitzkrieg.

It was during this association that Sehwag slowed down a bit but only relatively. He took 43 balls to move from 100 to 150, his slowest phase during the innings, but needed just another 28 balls to get to the magic figure of 200.

Pat for Viru
* "I am very happy for Viru. It’s even more satisfying that an Indian has broken my record."
 Sachin Tendulkar

*"Well I did watch some of that innings by Viru... Brilliant striking!! Congrats on your 219... That's child abuse! (As) The Mask would say, Smoking!"
 Chris Gayle
* "I say it again! I never saw Sir Viv bat but I've seen Sehwag bat! What a player, 219 in a one-day game is next to impossible!"
 Yuvraj Singh
* "Wow, Test match tomorrow, but I am still up watching Virender Sehwag score, hopefully, 200. Unreal, and he does [get the] highest ever. Well done mate."
David Warner

* “Cheers Lala...219...Way to go buddy.”
Zaheer Khan
* “It was amazing to watch Virubhai getting 219 from the other end. Truly exceptional.”
Suresh Raina

* “Well, I think Sehwag might have tonked it.”
David Lloyd

* "When Viv Richards retired I thought it was end of entertainment. But then came Sehwag, the King of entertainment! Long live the King!!"
Rameez Raja

* “Holy cow, is all I am going to say about that innings. Amazing stuff by Viru, as Johnny Mac would say, ‘You can’t be serious.’”
Mahesh Bhupathi

*"Sehwag, the greatest slaughterer of bowling since IVA Richards."
Derek Pringle

* "I think the knock was out of the world. I have never seen anyone hitting so hard and so aggressively. His cuts, pulls were ferocious. We talk about Vivian Richards, the Aussies but in Sehwag we have someone who can take the breath away.”
Ajit Wadekar

* “This is a great feat and I congratulate Sehwag for the amazing feat. He is one of the greatest players I have ever seen. He is a gambler, a player who loves to take risks.”
Sourav Ganguly

* “I would swap everything I have done in my miserable little life to bat like Virender Sehwag. Miserable little life!”
Kevin PIetersen

* “I am very happy for Sehwag. He missed his double century (175) during the World Cup game against Bangladesh at Mirpur. But today he has achieved the feat which I would like to describe as incredible.”
Krishnamachari Srikkanth
* "This was one of the best knocks I have ever seen. If there was anyone who could have broken Sachin Tendulkar's record it was Sehwag.”
Lalchand Rajput

* "It's a great effort. Once he got a triple hundred (in Tests) it was just a matter of time for him to bring up this one. I am a big fan of him. The fact that he can even dispatch good balls to boundaries makes him so different.”
Dinesh Kaarthick

* "I was just watching it. I am so happy for him. It's unbelievable. He is such a great batsman.”
Murali Vijay

* "One of the greatest cricketer India ever had. He is one of the biggest destroyers of spin bowling. Be it Test, one-day or T20, he bats with equal flair.”
Kiran More

Score Board

Gambhir (run out)    67
(67b, 11x4)
Sehwag c (sub) Marin b Pollard    219
(149b, 25x4, 7x6)
Raina (run out)    55
(44b, 6x4)
Jadeja c Rampaul b Russell    10
Rohit b Roach    27
(16b, 3x4)
Kohli (not out)    23
(11b, 3x4)
Parthiv (not out)    3
Extras (LB-1, W-13)    14
Total (for 5 wkts, 50 overs)    418
Fall of wickets: 1-176 (Gambhir), 2-316 (Raina), 3-341 (Jadeja), 4-376 (Rohit), 5-393 (Rohit).
Bowling: Roach 10-0-88-1, Rampaul 9-0-66-0 (w-3), Russell 7-0-63-1 (w-1), Narine 6-0-46-0 (w-2), Sammy 3-0-30-0 (w-5), Pollard 7-0-65-1 (w-2), Samuels 8-0-59-0.
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 30/1; 10: 63/0; 20: 149/0; 30: 225/1; 40: 311/1; Close of play: 418/5 in 50 overs.
Runs during: Power Play1: 1-10 overs: 63/0; Power Play2 (bowling): 16-20 overs: 41/0; Power Play3 (batting): 36-40 overs: 48/0.
Simmons c Parthiv b Jadeja    36
(35b, 6x4, 1x6)
Powell (run out)    7
(5b, 1x4)
Samuels b Rahul    33
(26b, 4x4, 2x6)
Hyatt b Rahul    11
(17b, 2x4)
Ramdin c Rohit b Raina    96
(96b, 12x4)
Pollard b Rahul    3
Russell st Parthiv b Raina    29
(24b, 1x4, 3x6)
Sammy c Mithun b Ashwin    2
Rampaul c (sub) Tiwary b Jadeja    10
(31b, 1x4)
Roach c&b Jadeja    7
(19b, 1x4)
Narine (not out)    27
(33b, 3x4, 1x6)
Extras (LB-2, W-2)    4
Total (all out, 49.2 overs)    265
Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Powell), 2-63 (Simmons), 3-81 (Samuels), 4-90 (Hyatt), 5-100 (Pollard), 6-140 (Russell), 7-145 (Sammy), 8-168 (Rampaul), 9-201 (Roach).
Bowling: Vinay 4-0-34-0, Ashwin 10-0-59-1 (w-1), Jadeja 10-2-34-3, Mithun 4-0-37-0 (w-1), Rahul 10-0-43-3, Raina 6.2-0-17-2, Rohit 5-0-39-0.
Scoring pattern: after 5 overs: 38/1; 10: 64/2; 20: 118/5; 30: 161/7; 40: 211/9; Close of play: 265 all out in 49.2 overs.
Runs during Power Play1: 1-10 overs: 64/2; Power Play2 (bowling): 16-20 overs: 22/1; Power Play3 (batting): 36-40: 37/1.