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India finish off with a whimper

cricket Updated: Jun 18, 2011 00:56 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times
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Darren Bravo’s talent has never been in question, but despite his batting resembling his famous relative, Brian Lara, the young batsman had laboured against Indian spinners.

The 22-year-old Trinidad left-hander, however, exploded in a brilliant assault on India’s re-jigged bowling attack to score a career-best 86 and guide West Indies to a seven-wicket win in the fifth and final one-day international at Sabina Park on Thursday.

Ramnaresh Sarwan laid the platform with a steady 75 until he was forced to retire due to cramp, and the job was completed by Marlon Samuels (28 not out) and Kieron Pollard (24 not out).

India had taken an unassailable 3-0 lead but conceded more ground to the home team than they should have following the back-to-back defeats. They did look in control but could not take wickets.

And the inexperienced Vinay Kumar as well as spinners Amit Mishra and R Ashwin lost the plot once Bravo put them under pressure in the final batting powerplay overs. West Indies raced to 255 for three wickets in 48.4 overs after bowling out India for 251.

Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell produced another impressive effort to finish with four wickets.

It may be hard to concentrate after winning the series but India still should have shown more application as the young players had much to play for. A focussed approach only came from Virat Kohli, who anchored the innings with 94, and Rohit Sharma, who signed off with a 57.

Sharma's third half-century in the series won him the 'player-of-the-series' award, but he will take the long flight back home and wait for his turn to get into the Test squad.

It is a pity because the experienced S Badrinath, who will stay back for the Tests, looked uneasy against bounce in the fourth ODI defeat in Antigua, and Jamaica will offer a bigger challenge.

Munaf injured?
There appears to be some worry over Munaf Patel's fitness as India begin their preparation for the first Test which starts in Sabina Park on Monday.

Patel, who was rested for the last two ODIs after bowling impressively to help clinch the series, was seen on Wednesday doing light running exercises under the supervision of the physical trainer, which suggested he could have some kind of a niggle.

India coach Duncan Fletcher, however, said the paceman would be ready for the Kingston Test.

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