From the publishers of THE HINDU

VOL.32 :: NO.25 :: Jun. 20, 2009


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Bravo, the match-winner

The West Indian all-rounder paced his innings well, rotating the strike after his team lost both its openers and then launching into the bigger strokes with a calm mind and sure footwork when the asking rate climbed. He innovated and created without appearing to slog at any point, writes S. Dinakar.


Good show… Dwayne Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (right) walk off the field after steering West Indies to a comfortable win against India.

Fidel Edwards made the early inroads, softening the Indian top-order with some hostile short-pitched bowling, and then Dwayne Bravo held centre-stage. India fought back briefly with Yuvraj Singh stringing together shots of brilliance but the West Indians had the final say. A booming inside-out cover-driven six by Bravo off Zaheer Khan signalled a seven-wicket win for the Caribbeans in the Super Eight duel at Lord’s.

Bravo paced his innings well, rotating the strike after West Indies lost both its openers including the influential Chris Gayle, and then launching into the bigger strokes with a calm mind and sure footwork when the asking rate climbed. He innovated and created without appearing to slog at any point.

Bravo’s four-wicket haul — he bowled his medium pacers cleverly with variations in speed and bounce — and an unbeaten 66 was a match-winning performance in every sense; the all-rounder was adjudged the Man of the Match. Lendl Simmons (44, 37b, 5x4) stroked the ball with panache when the contest was in the balance. The West Indians held their nerve during the chase.

Bravo’s footwork against spin was exemplary; he glided down to the pitch of the ball and was balanced on either side.

Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha were handled well by Bravo; he milked the spinners before dismissing them to the distant corners of the ground. The straight six off Ojha after Bravo waltzed down the track to convert the length was the shot of a man in control. He adapted well to changes in pace and length, was decisive with his response.

When the 150-run plus chase entered a delicate phase, Bravo found a brave ally in Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The left-hander was enterprising as Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan bled runs in the final stretch.

The Indian fielding disappointed; the Indians were unable to put the pressure on the West Indians in the climactic stages.

Earlier, magnificent strokeplay by Yuvraj Singh in adverse circumstances enabled India recover to 153 for seven. Yuvraj — dropped at deep square-leg by Andre Fletcher off Dwyane Bravo on 32 — showcased a stunning array of shots. There was no stroke better than a whipped six off Jerome Taylor, the left-hander’s strong wrists powering the ball over the ropes.

The southpaw also slog-swept the spinners and drove with panache on either side. Before he was dismissed while attempting a pull off Fidel Edwards, Yuvraj (67, 43b, 6x4, 2x6) led an Indian revival with Yusuf Pathan (31).

Yuvraj and Yusuf took the score from 66 for four in the 13th over to 130 for five in the 18th after Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to bat under a cloud cover.

The technical shortcomings of the Indian batsmen against short-pitched deliveries were exploited by Edwards who used the classic bouncer-fuller ball routine. Jerome Taylor too hustled the batsmen from the other end. The Indians were tested further by the movement off the Lord’s slope.


India v West Indies

Result: West Indies won by 7 wickets.

India: G. Gambhir c Simmons b Bravo 14, R. G. Sharma c Simmons b Edwards 5, S. K. Raina c Ramdin b Edwards 5, Yuvraj Singh c & b Edwards 67, M. S. Dhoni c Fletcher b Bravo 11, Y. K. Pathan b Bravo 31, I. K. Pathan c Simmons b Bravo 2, Harbhajan Singh (not out) 13, Z. Khan (not out) 0, Extras (lb-1, w-4) 5. Total: (for 7 wkts; 20 overs) 153.

Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-27, 3-29, 4-66, 5-130, 6-140, 7-141.

West Indies bowling: J. E. Taylor 4-0-44-0, F. H. Edwards 4-0-24-3, D. J. Bravo 4-0-38-4, C. H. Gayle 3-0-13-0, K. A. Pollard 2-0-7-0, S. J. Benn 3-0-26-0.

West Indies: C. H. Gayle c Z. Khan b Y. K. Pathan 22, A. D. S. Fletcher c Yuvraj Singh b I. K. Pathan 0, L. M. P. Simmons c I. K. Pathan b Ojha 44, D. J. Bravo (not out) 66, S. Chanderpaul (not out )18, Extras: (lb-3, w-3) 6. Total (for 3 wkts; 18.4 overs) 156.

Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-42, 3-100.

India bowling: Z. Khan 2.4-0-26-0, I. K. Pathan 2-0-9-1, Y. K. Pathan 4-0-27-1, Harbhajan Singh 4-1-31-0, I. Sharma 3-0-31-0, P. P. Ojha 3-0-29-1.

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