India massacred hapless Bermuda by a World Cup record 257 runs on Monday, keeping alive a billion hopes — until Friday, when they play Sri Lanka at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Chasing India’s 413/5 — also a World Cup record — Bermuda were bowled out for 156.
But the widely expected win doesn’t change India’s situation dramatically. The victory, and all the buccaneering batting, will come to naught if India do not beat the Sri Lankans on Friday. For, if Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh on Wednesday — which they could well do — and India then lose to Lanka, it’s bye-bye World Cup.
Even if India beat Lanka, their passage into the Super Eights will depend on the comparative net run rate (NRR). Monday’s massive win will, however, help somewhat — provided of course Bangladesh too don’t beat Bermuda by a similarly huge margin. The Bangladeshis will have the last-player advantage in this group, knowing exactly what margin of victory to target.
For the moment though, India, and Indian fans, can allow themselves some satisfaction. Virender Sehwag (114 off 87) fired at last, his first century in a couple of years. Sourav Ganguly (89 off 114) played a calculated knock anchoring the innings after Robin Uthappa fell early.
The death saw some breathtaking hitting from Yuvraj Singh — he showered the ground with a barrage of sixes, seven in an innings of 83, made off only 46 balls. Sachin Tendulkar came to the party too, blasting 57 off only 29 balls. Dravid ended the innings with a six — the 18th of the innings — taking India to its first 400-plus one day international score.
India: Rahul Dravid (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel.
Bermuda: Irving Romaine (capt), Dean Minors, Oliver Pitcher, Delyone Borden, David Hemp, Janeiro Tucker, Lionel Cann, Malachi Jones, Kevin Hurdle, Dwayne Leverock, Stephen Outerbridge.