Chanderpaul stands alone again

India have once again overcome a fighting innings from Shivnarine Chanderpaul to win the second ODI against the West Indies in Cuttak. Batting first on a difficult surface, India failed to finish their quota of 50 overs and managed just 189, but it was enough as the West Indies succumbed to a strong Indian bowling performance and some careless running between wickets.

Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to bat, but the slow, unpredictable pitch and some accurate bowling soon had India in trouble. The early loss of Ghambir was a setback, but it was the withering assault of Daren Powell which blew the Indian top order away, as the Jamaican seamer grabbed three wickets in his first four overs, removing Ganguly, Tendulkar and Dravid.

Powell bowled his full quota of 10 overs without rest, and grabbed a fourth wicket before he was finished, while Dwayne Smith removed Dhoni from the other end. Only Dinesh Karthik was able to resist the flurry of wickets, as he came to the crease at 35-3 and batted through the balance of the innings.

India lost their 7th wicket soon after Powell finished his spell, but an unlikely partner for Karthik emerged when Ajit Agarkar came to the crease. The pair added 62 in under 10 overs for the 8th wicket before Karthik’s vigil came to an end, and Agarkar continued on with the other bowlers to be the last man dismissed, for 40. The late resistance pushed the Indian total up to 189, close to par on a slow, uneven surface.

The West Indies innings soon took on a similiar tone to their batting display in the first ODI. While Shivnarine Chanderpaul played a responsible, commanding innings, batsmen tumbled around him in an increasingly difficult chase. Several batsmen got starts, but only Chanderpaul could make his early work count and occupy the crease.

Agarkar grabbed the crucial wicket of Gayle with his first ball, and Devon Smith came in at 3 and supported Chanderpaul through a lengthy but ultimately unproductive stand. The pair added 36 in 13 overs and seemed to be getting on top of conditions before Smith fell over after a mix-up in the calling and was run out. From there, the West Indies succumbed to mounting pressure and a relentless spin attack from India.

Harbhajan Singh struck in his first over, and while Bravo looked to up the ante and support Chanderpaul, he fell to Powar, one of two wickets in the 27th over. Dwayne Smith provided further support for Chanderpaul, and once again the West Indies seemed to be getting on top of the chase before Smith played a disappointing shot to Tendulkar’s part-time spin and fell for 25.

The final delivery of Powar’s 10th was a crucial one, clean bowling Ramdin for his third wicket, and in the process ending the last partnership of recognised batsmen. While Chanderpaul remained unbeaten on 60 with the required rate well in hand, with bowlers as support the flow of runs quickly dried up. Harbhajan returned for a maiden in his 10th over, and similarly tight offers from Tendulkar pushed the required rate up to a run a ball.

Bradshaw fell to Tendulkar trying to keep the scoreboard moving, and the West Indies were left with 27 to get from the final four overs. Powell then became the second run out victim of the innings, caught short after being sent back, and Chanderpaul’s hopes of a heroic victory had been dashed. Tendulkar continued his excellent death bowling in the 48th over, and Chanderpaul’s innings finally came to an end with 10 deliveries remaining, leaving the West Indies a full 20 runs short.

The series continues in Chennai on Saturday, with the West Indies requiring a win to stay in the contest.

India 189 (48.2)
Dinesh Karthik 63, Ajit Agarkar 40
Daren Powell 4-27 (10), Dwayne Bravo 2-36 (8.2)

West Indies 169 (48.2)
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 67 (125), Dwayne Bravo 31 (33)
Ramesh Powar 3-42 (10), Sachin Tendulkar 2-25 (8)

India win by 20 runs.
India lead the series 2-0.

Cricket Web Man of the Match Ramesh Powar 3-42

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