India on the brink of elimination

Skipper Chris Gayle hammers a blistering 66-ball 98 as hosts West Indies defeat men in blue by 14 runs

India on the brink of elimination

Windies players celebrate the dismissal of Rohit Sharma. APChasing West Indies’ challenging 169 for six, formed primarily on the strength of Chris Gayle’s lightning 98, India replied with 155 for nine to suffer a 14-run defeat. This was India’s second defeat in the Super Eights stage after their first loss to Australia on Friday. While MS Dhoni’s men still are in with a mathematical chance of qualifying for the semifinals, it will require nothing less than a miracle to happen so.

 India made no changes to their squad which took on Australia and it made no difference to the outcome either. Opting to bowl first, they did well to restrict West Indies to 31 runs in the six overs of Power Play, but failed to exercise the same control for the remaining part of the innings as the hosts stacked up a handsome total, which was stiff but gettable. Given the fact that India had gone in with an extra batsman, they could have overhauled the target against a Windies attack which was nowhere near Australia’s.

 The hosts’ bowlers did come up with a series of short-pitched balls but they were erratic and not always on target. But the few they managed to get right, paid them dividends. Murali Vijay’s misery ended when he was deceived by a slower one while Gautam Gambhir got the perfume ball from Kemar Roach for which he had no answer. Rohit Sharma was unlucky to be adjudged caught behind as the ball had gone off his arm, but the batsman had no business playing that shot, a premeditated paddle sweep off Keiron Pollard. Yuvarj Singh once again failed to impress while Suresh Raina briefly raised the hopes. With 32 required off last two overs, India’s chances rested on Dhoni but his run-out at the beginning of the 19th over dashed all of them.  

Gayle narrowly missed out on becoming the only batsman to score two international T20 centuries when he was run out with a ball to go during West Indies’ innings. But the fortuitous left-hander had done enough damage by then. Gayle made most of the life given to him by the Dhoni-Yusuf combine. The two went for a skier from Gayle off the bowling of Nehra at square leg and collided with each other to spill the chance. The big-built batsman then made the Indians pay dearly for their slip-up by hammering 52 more runs from just 26 deliveries.

 Once again Harbhajan Singh opened the proceedings for India and as against Australia, he was at his parsimonious best giving away just 16 runs in his four overs spread over two spells. Though Gayle had carted Harbhajan for a six over mid-wicket in the third over, he was taking his chances only sporadically. It was only after the seventh over that the West Indies began to attack when Gayle sent Zaheer Khan soaring over long-on in the eighth over and then followed it up with another huge hit off Yusuf Pathan.

Most of Gayle’s runs came on the leg-side and the Indian bowlers seemed to be feeding him to his strengths either bowling too full or too short. Ravindra Jadeja, who grassed Shivnarine Chanderpaul, had another forgettable outing conceding 27 in his two overs. Dhoni then sprang a surprise bringing in Raina to bowl the 17th over and the gamble didn’t pay off as Gayle picked up two more sixes off that over to give the innings a desired push towards the end.

SCOREBOARD

WEST INDIES
Gayle (run out)    98
(66b, 5x4, 7x6)
Chanderpaul c Dhoni b Nehra    23
(29b, 2x4)
Sammy c Vijay b Jadeja    19
(10b, 2x4, 1x6)
Pollard c Yusuf b Zaheer    17
(11b, 2x6)
Bravo c Rohit b Nehra    1
(2b)
Sarwan c Rohit b Nehra    0
(1b)
Hinds (not out)    0
(0b)
Ramdin (not out)    4
(2b)
Extras (LB-4, W-2, NB-1)    7.
Total (for 6 wkts, 20 overs)    169.

Fall of wickets: 1-80 (Chanerpaul), 2-119 (Sammy), 3-160 (Pollard), 4-163 (Bravo), 5-164 (Sarwan), 6-165 (Gayle). 
  
Bowling: Harbhajan 4-0-16-0, Zaheer 4-0-36-1 (nb-1), Nehra 4-0-35-3 (w-1), Yusuf 4-0-28-0 (w-1), Raina 2-0-23-0, Jadeja 2-0-27-1.   
Scoring pattern: after 5 overs: 26/0; 10: 67/0; 15: 114/1; end of innings: 169/6 in 20 overs.  

Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 31/0.

INDIA
Vijay c Pollard b Sammy    7
(14b)
Gambhir c Ramdin b Roach    15
(14b, 3x4) 
Raina  c Sammy b Galye    32
(25b, 4x4, 1x6)
Rohit  c Ramdin b Pollard    5
(8b, 1x4)
Yuvraj c Chanderpaul b Benn    12
(14b, 1x4)
Dhoni (run out)    29
(18b, 2x4, 2x6)
Yusuf c Hinds b Taylor    17
(10b, 2x6)
Harbhajan c Bravo b Roach    14
(10b, 1x4, 1x6)
Jadeja (not out)    5
(6b)
Nehra c Benn b Bravo    0
(2b)
Zaheer (not out)    0
(1b)
Extras (LB-2, W-15, NB-2)    19
Total (for 9 wkts, 20 overs)    155
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Vijay), 2-27 (Gambhir), 3-38 (Rohit), 4-80 (Raina), 5-118 (Yuvraj), 6-114 (Yusuf), 7-139 (Dhoni), 8-150 (Harbhajan), 9-152 (Nehra). 

Bowling: Sammy 3-0-16-1 (nb-1, w-1), Taylor 4-0-24-1 (w-4), Roach 4-0-38-2 (nb-1, w-7), Bravo 4-0-28-1, Pollard 2-0-23-1 (w-2), Gayle 2-0-22-1 (w-1), Benn 1-0-2-1.

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