Yuvraj ton sets up India win
A century from Yuvraj Singh and a stunning collapse from West Indies handed India an 80-run win in their World Cup Group B match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, India on Sunday.
Yuvraj’s innings of 113 off 123 balls provided the bulk of the runs as India were bowled out for 268 with five balls of their innings remaining with paceman Ravi Rampaul snaring five for 51.
The Windies had looked well placed to pull off a win as they moved confidently to 154 for two but they proceeded to lose eight wickets for just 34 runs as they were bowled out for 188 off 43 overs.
The win consolidated India’s second place in the group which means that they will play Australia in the quarter-finals in Ahmedabad on March 26 while the West Indies, who finished fourth, will play Pakistan in Dhaka on March 23.
Yuvraj battled dehydration towards the back-end of his innings but he still managed to bring up his 13th one-day international (ODI) ton off 112 balls before he was caught and bowled by medium-pacer Kieron Pollard.
However, the left-handed batsman did receive a touch of luck when he dropped by Darren Sammy at short third man with his score on nine.
Yuvraj’s knock, which included 10 fours and two sixes, looked to have set India up for a huge total as they reached 232 for four in the 44th over with the batting powerplay to come.
But Rampaul, who extracted appreciable reverse-swing, picked up his first five-wicket haul in ODI’s as India suffered a collapse of their own as they lost seven for 50.
It was India’s second major collapse of the competition after they had lost nine for 29 against South Africa.
Rampaul, playing his first match of the World Cup after speedster Kemar Roach pulled out with a fever, had silenced the capacity crowd with he had Sachin Tendulkar (2) caught behind in the first over of the innings.
Rampaul then had Gautam Gambhir (22) caught at third man before Yuvraj and Virat Kohli set the innings up with a mammoth third-wicket stand of 122.
Kohli constructed a composed innings on a pitch which offered decent bounce before he was bowled by Rampaul for 59 to leave India on 173 for three in the 33rd over.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni weighed in the 22 but India’s slide started in the 44th over when Suresh Raina (4) was caught at short fine leg with Yuvraj dismissed in the next over.
Rampaul returned to the attack to bowl Yusuf Pathan (11) and Zaheer Khan (5) while fellow quick Andre Russell picked up the wickets of Harbhajan Singh (3) and Munaf Patel (1).
ZAHEER STARTED ROT
West Indies made a steady start and they looked to be cruising as Devon Smith and Darren Bravo (22) put on 57 runs for the second wicket and Smith and Ramnaresh Sarwan (39) added 63 runs for the third wicket.
Smith looked in particularly good touch as he made his way to 81 off 97 balls. But the rot started when left-arm quick Zaheer bowled Smith with a good delivery that snaked back into the left-handed batsman.
The next best score was just six, from Devendra Bishoo as the last seven batsmen failed to reach double figures.
Zaheer finished with figures of three for 26 while Yuvraj completed a fine all round performance by picking up two for 18 with his left-arm spin.
India - Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Munaf Patel.
West Indies – Kirk Edwards, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy (capt), Devon Thomas (wk), Andre Russell, Sulieman Benn, Ravi Rampaul, Devendra Bishoo.