Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ind vs WI play a thrilling draw

India looked firm favourites heading into the final two overs of the match as they needed six runs to reach their victory target of 243, with three wickets in hand and first-innings centurion Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma at the crease.
However, West Indies pacemen Ravi Rampaul and Fidel Edwards limited the home side to just five runs to help earn their side a draw as scores finished level.

During those two tension-filled overs Rampaul bowled Sharma for 10 and then, off the final ball of the match, Ashwin was run out for 14 going for a second run that would have won India the match, the hosts finishing on 242 for nine.

A draw looked the most likely outcome at the start of the final day, but few could have predicted the manner in which it came about - with all four results still possible even up until the last over as the match ebbed one way and then the other.

India appeared to have put themselves in control after spinners Pragyan Ojha and Ashwin had ripped through the tourists' batting line-up in the morning session.

Ojha finished with a career-best six for 47 while Ashwin snared the other four as the West Indies, having scored 590 in their first innings, lost eight wickets for 43 in a 60-minute spell before lunch to crash to 134 all out.

That stunning collapse set India a victory target of 243 off 64 overs and opener Virender Sehwag gave his side a flying start with a typically aggressive half-century, although he also rode his luck in the process.

The big-hitting opener survived three dropped catches as he powered his way to 60 at almost a run-a-ball, a knock that included eight boundaries, before he fell just after India had brought up their 100.

Sehwag's dismissal brought Sachin Tendulkar to the wicket but the home favourite, still chasing that elusive 100th international ton, could only make three before he was also sent back.

When West Indies made their third big breakthrough in quick succession as Rahul Dravid was sent back for 33, the match looked to be swinging back towards the tourists as India found themselves 113 for four.

Darren Sammy's men continued to plug away and the dismissals of VVS Laxman (31) and home captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13) saw India reduced to 189 for six.

Still any result was possible at that stage, but Virat Kohli looked to have put India back in charge as he guided his side to within 19 runs of victory with four wickets remaining.

However, his exit for 63 then put the match back in the balance and although India still looked the likeliest winners in the closing stages, they could not get over the finishing line as the West Indies - particularly Rampaul (three for 56) and Edwards (one for 28) - kept their cool.

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