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India crush Windies, gain consolation win
by Rohit Sakunia


Scorecard:India v West Indies
Player:V Kohli, KD Karthik, MS Dhoni, A Nehra
Event:ICC Champions Trophy 2009/10

DateLine: 30th September 2009

 

The last day of the league matches of Champions Trophy 2009 could have made a brilliant Hollywood script. The day could do a lot for the saviour of the ODI's wherein in two matches, at least three teams played world class cricket. In Jo'burg, India tried their best to comprehensively rout West Indies, while in Centurion, Pakistan made Australia sweat to the core after at one point the Aussies were cruising towards an easy win.

 

India probably had saved their best bowling efforts for the end. Unfortunately it awaited a match and time where only their sweat was not enough to carry the side through to the semi-finals. Nonetheless they finished winners against a depleted West Indies and though they lost just one game in the tournament, they will return from here on because Pakistan and Australia move ahead from this group owing to more points from their respective three matches.

 

Chasing a meagre 130 to win, India it seemed had no motivation whatsoever after seeing Australia scamper through to a win and thereby book a semifinal birth for themselves. They again had a new opening combination in Gautam Gambhir and Dinesh Karthik. Gambhir was the first to fall, when a short of a length, angling in delivery fooled him as he opened the face of the bat to steer the ball down. Unfortunately for him the ball sat up and he got an inside edge which disturbed his timber.

 

Dravid followed sooner via a run out. He has always been a poor runner to start off and this time as well it was poor stuff. A bad call and bad effort resulted in the champion batsman's dismissal. This was a huge opening for West Indies pacers who have till now troubled both the Aussie and the Pakistan batting line-ups. Fortunately for India, Karthik and youngster Virat Kohli played with a lot of maturity. Karthik looked to play the sheet anchors role while Kohli kept hitting the occasional boundaries and since both of them are pretty good between the wickets, moving the scoreboard was not a issue in the middle.

 

The duo added 92 runs and with the scoreboard reading 104, Karthik played an unnecessary shot to get out. His worksmanship like innings fetched him 34 runs off 79 deliveries and he would had been surely disapopointed at having failed to finish it for the side. Kohli continued his run fest hitting Nikita Miller for a six and the boundary in the 31st over and he alongside newcomer Abhishek Nayar sealed the proceedings for India with a lot to spare.

 

It's a surety that for most part of the West Indies innings, the Australian chase would have kept the Indians hooked. The equation at the top of the mind and scalping the West Indian wickets one after the other would have charged them up. The rest of the motiivation in a lacklustre bowling line-up would have come when the Aussies started to lose one wicket after the other.

 

The match against West Indies though did not start off on a great note for MS Dhoni and company. When he was walking for the toss he knew two things that could have hurt any skipper. One Australia was cruising towards win and the other was that Sachin Tendulkar wasn't available for the game because of food poisoning. But if anything, it seemed India's seam battery were looking to bowl at Jo'burg.

 

Both Ashish Nehra and Praveen Kumar got a lot of rip from the turf and even before the West Indian batsman could have got any understanding of what the pitch was like, they were stranded at 30 something for four wickets. Seeing the ball move and Australia making their way to the semis easily, Dhoni took the leather in his hands to have a little fun and exploit the conditions. He gave his keeping gloves to Kathik and decided to bowl, something he does a lot in the nets.

 

His first two balls were no good, and were smashed for boundaries by Travis Dowlin. The fourth ball would have surely even surprised the bowler himself. Dhoni bowled it a little fuller and it seamed back a lot to take the inside edge and roll onto the stumps. He gave himself one more chance and had Karthik not dropped a tough one he could have had a couple in his kitty. David Bernard and Darren Sammy then staged a recovery of sorts with a 32-run sixth-wicket stand. But when Amit

 

Mishra got Bernard to edge to slip, where Dravid took a blinder. From here another slide started and though Nikita Miller managed 17 runs in 13 balls, he ran out of partners as the Indian seamers came back and skittled the Windies for a mere 129.

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