The Windies managed to snatch defeat but in the end they pipped India to the post. A match that was one-sided became a thriller thanks to the insipid batting from Runako Morton and some good bowling from the Indians.
The much vaunted batting line-up of India failed to make runs again. A good innings from Rahul Dravid came to an end with a run out going for a non-existent single. Sehwag lashed 3 boundaries before falling a victim once again to the incoming delivery. Sachin looked in fine touch until he dragged a pretty innocuous looking ball from Bradshaw onto the stumps. Irfan Pathan did not trouble the scorer. Yuvraj showed glimpses of his talent as well his failings in his short stay at the crease.
In the end, the total of India crept past 200 thanks to some good hitting from Dhoni and Harbhajan. Dhoni and Raina were guilty of playing a number of dot balls. At times, Dhoni looked awkward in the way he defended his wicket.
Gayle was in his usual elements and unleashed a few ferocious shots. He was helped by a dropped chance. Chanderpaul once again frustrated the Indian attack and Sarwan also scored a 50. A simple run chase appeared to become a Herculean task in the closing overs of the match. Lara caned a four and got out. Samuels hit the winning shot with only two balls to spare.
In the bowling department, Harbhajan Singh looked the best and Munaf Patel was good. The omission of the experienced Kaif is unjustified since Raina is in no form. It is time the Indian think-tank does some real homework and not perform a random experiment.A berth in the last four looks out of question since India have to face Australia on Sunday.
For the third day in a row, the captain winning the toss elected to field. But the trend has been bucked by Lara’s men.