Ganeshbabu Venkat | 6:27am gmt 20 Mar 2011
End of match updates:
In a collapse that was a new low for the West Indies, They lost their last eight wickets for 34 runs to crash to 188 All out to give India victory by 80 runs in their group B clash that has finally given us the quarter final line ups. It was a period of mindless batting more than exceptional bowling apart from Zaheer who was bowling superbly and getting the ball to cut and reverse swing prodigiously. Devon Smith was bowled by a beauty from Khan, Pollard tried to clear the ground early in his innings, Sammy was run out attempting a non-existent run, Devon Thomas was clueless against spin and so was Andre Russell, Benn fell to a beautiful slower ball from Zaheer. Sarwan was left to watch the carnage around him and was pretty much helpless and he himself perished trying to up the ante. So as it stands West Indies will take on Pakistan at Mirpur in the first QF, Followed by India-Australia at Ahmedabad, England-Sri Lanka at Colombo and NewZealand-South Africa at Mirpur. The winner of the first two games will play the semis at Mohali and winner of the second two games will play the second semis at Colombo.
Update at the end of Drinks break 2
India have their noses ahead at the end of 34 overs and 2 balls with West Indies struggling at 160/5. The "Big Fish" Pollard was caught by Yusuf Pathan of Harbhajan Singh. Before that Zaheer had prized out Devon Smith for 81 of 97 balls that included seven 4's and a solitary six. It was a bad shot by Pollard given the circumstances although Smith got out to a beauty from Zaheer Khan. Devon Thomas was brilliantly stumped by Dhoni of Yuvraj. No other Indian bowler impressed although Bhajji was pretty decent in his second spell and it looks as though India might just nudge ahead in this game and finish second in the group. With only Darren Sammy to come it looks as though West Indies will be destined to face the group toppers Pakistan and India will taken on the defending champions Australia. Still 17 more overs to go for an intriguing finish.
Update at the end of 18 overs:
West Indies started off confidently in their chase of 269 by playing their shots freely and finishing up 94/2 in 18 overs. Debutant Kirk Edwards muscled a couple of hits to the fence and was dismissed leg before by R.Ashwin. However he was let off earlier when umpire Steve Davies did not call for the review where he failed to reach the crease and was caught inches short. That did not cost India much for he added just nine more. However Devon Smith and Darren Bravo played some crisp shots and looked at ease against the Indian spinners. Bravo showed shades of Brian Lara when he lofted Ashwin for a huge six straight down the ground and played a glorious cut shot for four. The pitch is showing no signs of wear and should make for an interesting chase. As I type this Darren Bravo was out caught by Harbhajan in the deep for 22 runs of 29 balls.
End of India Innings Update:
Helped by Yuvraj's magnificent century India ended up on a reasonable 268 all out in 50 overs from a relatively strong position of 218/4 India yet again squandered that start and limped in the End. India would feel they are atlas 25 runs short given the start they had. Nevertheless one feels it is an arduous task to chase that score given West Indies's fragile batting line up. India were gun-shy to take the power play and rather let the power play take it's own course. The odds of an India-Australia quarter finals are taking shape fast. The West Indian bowlers apart from Bishoo and Rampaul failed to impress and lacked the attacking methods. West Indies were pretty sloppy in the field as well with overthrows, misfields and drop catches. Although the target is a stiff one West Indies should believe in themselves to chase this down. However that looks unlikely with Pollard dislocating his finger when he took a spectacular catch to dismiss Harbhajan Singh. Ravi Rampaul took his maiden five wicket haul including the prized scalp of Sachin Tendulkar for just two.
After the initial loss of the openers, India helped by Yuvraj's silken stroke play and Kohli's level headed knock and putting on a 122 run partnership are motoring along towards a potentially match winning total. West Indian bowling has lacked the fire with the absence of Kemar Roach and Sammy has appeared pretty clueless on the field with his bizarre field placings for the leg spinner Devendra Bishoo. Yuvraj's attack on Bishoo and Benn were pretty aggressive and he swept, cut and drove them at will. Although the wicket is not as helpful to the spinners as it was made out to be any total over 250 should be a tough chase. The crowd are absolutely enjoying themselves to some exhilarating stroke play from Yuvraj and Kohli. Kohli was dismissed by Rampaul for 59 of 76 balls and at the drinks break which has been taken early India are 173/3 in 32.2 overs.
On a wicket that was expected to assist the spinners Ravi Rampaul send down the first ball of the match that went over the keeper's head for five wides. From that moment it was clear that this was a true track and it indeed lived up to that expectation. Rampaul accounted for Sachin Tendulkar in the first over caught behind. The umpire did not give him out, However Tendulkar decided to walk. Virat Kohli walked in earlier than expected and put on a decent partnership with Gambhir. Rampaul bowled an incisive spell and even had the audacity to walk up to Gautam Gambhir and engage in a little banter. He was rewarded with Gambhir's wicket when he top edged an attempted cut shot straight to Andre Russell at third man. With the amount of bounce on the wicket, The West Indies might rue their decision of not playing Kemar Roach if it comes to that. Yuvraj Singh came in at the fall of Gambhir's wicket and played some delectable shots on either side of the wicket. However he was dropped by West Indian captain Darren Sammy at Gully. At the end of the first drinks break India are 89/2 in 17 overs.
The stadium is almost filled up and M.S.Dhoni has won the toss and elected to bat first. There are a number of players rested/dropped from both the sides. Chris Gayle, Shiv Chanderpaul and Kemar Roach for the West Indies and Virendar Shewag for India. Not sure what is the news behind resting Gayle. It's probably a put runs on the board wicket and India one feels have done the right selection after winning the toss. Let me remind you once again folks that if India wins the game a date with Australia awaits them at Ahmedababd and Pakistan will play West Indies. If West Indies manage to pull the rug under the Indians, Then India will play the co-hosts Sri Lanka and West Indies will take on the Aussies. So much at stake here and other than the QF opponents it's interesting to note that both these teams have not won against the big boys in their group.
The crowd slowly but surely building up and the news is that the tickets have all been sold out. The expectation is India should win this fairly easily. However that is not always the case when you have names like Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard in the opposition. All I'm looking forward is to see a good game.The stands in front of the press box is open and it has already filled up not to mention the heat in Chennai which has almost reached 35 degrees that is in celsius.
Good Day Folks!!! This is Yours Truly(Ganesh Venkat) Yet again giving you the updates live from M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. The game does not have much except that the winner will have a date with Australia and the loser, depends on who loses will have a date with either Sri Lanka or Pakistan. So there is something to play for and we can look forward to a keenly contested match. Will Gayle come good? Will Pollard blast West Indies to second spot. Will Tendulkar get his 100th Hundred?? We will have to wait.. Watch this space for more updates. Cheers!!!!!!