Johnson Charles failed to reach a ton but his 97 helped the West Indians to a victory they did their utmost to avoid.
Whether it's by an inch or a mile winning is everything. West indies made hard work of what should have been an easy win, but they won. On a damp slow wicket where runs were difficult to come by if bowling disciplines were maintained, a low scoring game seemed inevitable. And so it proved, when the strong Indian batting lineup mustered a below par 229. Here are the highlights.
India 229/7 (50 ov). West Indies 230/9 (47.4 overs). West Indies won by 1 wicket (with 14 balls remaining)
Roach growing into strike bowler role
No longer a hot headed bowler who bowls wheels Kemar Roach is finally establishing himself as one of West Indies strike bowlers in all formats. Given his form recently Shikhar Dhawan's wicket has become like gold dust, so when Roach removed him early it was a big set back for India. Raina also looked well set on his way to a half century before Roach struck again to break his partnership with Dhoni. If Roach continues this form, he could help the West Indies win this series.
Marlon Samuels. Sunil Narine maybe the star spinner for the West Indies but it was Marlon Samuels magnificent figures of 1-20 off 9 overs that stifled the Indian innings. An innings which yielded just 160 runs in the first 40 overs. Were it not for an onslaught in the last 10 overs which went for roughly 7 and over, India may have been skittled for 200.
When Rohit Sharma needlessly gave his wicket away with an attempted slog, the arrival of Dhoni at the creases meant the Indian fans weren't panicking just yet. However when he sustained a leg injury the Indian target took a direct hit. Despite his best efforts alongside Suresh Raina, with whom he shared a stand of 58, Dhoni was out prematurely on 27. India reached a below par score of 229, Dhoni didn't take the field due to his injury and West Indies clinched the win but only just. Had Dhoni not got injured a score of at least 240 was on the cards which would've proved too much for the West Indians.
Catch of the day
Chris Gayle removed one of his mates from the IPL, Virat Kohli with a stunning one handed catch in the slip. The powerfully built Jamaican, showed some fantastic reflexes and agility to dive sharply to his side full stretch after Kohli had flashed hard. It was one of those that either stick or don't, the Gayleforce seem to enjoy the fact that this particular one did, as his celebrations suggested.
Not quite the King but a Princely innings by Charles
I highlighted Charles before the tournament as a player who needed to perform if the West Indies were going to win this series. To his credit he did in this game. His temperament as wickets were falling at the other end was exceptional. And despite him losing his wicket, falling 3 short of his hundred and not seeing his side home, his efforts deserved a win. Luckily for him Tino Best and Kemar Roach helped get the hosts over the line.
Yadav's lost cause.
Bowling at Chris Gayle must be a daunting prospect for any opening bowler, but not Yadav. The young Indian quick has come of age in recent times and continues to perform well under pressure. He cramped Gayle for room with a quick short delivery which surprised the Jamiacan, who only managed to offer a catch to short extra cover. When he removed Johnson Charles to prevent him getting his hundred later on in the game he'd taken the top three west Indian scalps. Ultimately however on this occasion his labour didn't produce the fruits he desired.
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