The roof of the under-construction Bangladesh Krira Parishad building overlooking the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium was not the most sought after vantage point by the time West Indies finished their innings. It was overflowing as news of Australia making a chase of Pakistan’s 191 spread. The prospect of seeing Chris Gayle on the belter against India seemed mouth-watering. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar spoiled the party. The 24-year-old bowled 16 dot balls in his opening spell of three overs and gave away just three runs to the openers Gayle and Dwayne Smith. Only two runs came off the bat. West Indies were only 38 in the eighth over when R Ashwin took a diving return catch to dismiss Smith.
Mohammad Shami’s quick pick-up and throw resulted in Gayle’s run out – after he was dropped twice -- and the West Indies batting line-up looked listless after that. Their shot selection was poor, and they looked too ambitious with their urge to hit every bowler out of the park. And then they looked lethargic on the field when they came out to defend their paltry total.
Dropping Ravi Rampaul for the inexperienced left-arm medium pacer Krishmar Santokie backfired, and to top it all, the ever-dependable Sunil Narine began his spell with a no-ball and followed it up with a juicy full toss for the free hit delivery to Rohit Sharma, who sent it into orbit.
After Shikhar Dhawan fell cheaply to Samuel Badree in the first over of the innings, a 106-run stand between Rohit and Virat Kohli took the match out of West Indies’ hands. Dhawan however would consider himself unlucky as replays showed the ball had pitched just outside leg and would have missed the leg-stump as well.
The only surprising part was skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni not bringing Bhuvneshwar back to complete his quota. He instead handed the final over to Ravindra Jadeja, who gave away 21 runs.
India’s sole concern will be the form of Yuvraj Singh. After getting bowled through the gate against Pakistan, the left-hander was dismissed for 10 off 19 on Sunday and once again dropped a straight forward catch of Gayle. And the player who went to RCB for a whopping `14 crore was not called in to bowl on a wicket that offered much turn.
India, however, looked on course to grab a semi-final berth from the group with a seven-wicket win with two balls to spare, having notched up their second consecutive victory in three days.
The start of the India chase was delayed by 10 minutes because of confusion over the West Indies score. The initial tally showed 129 for seven and then it was revised to 130 for seven. Minutes later it was back to 129. Off the last ball of the 18th over, Lendl Simmons had hit Ravindra Jadeja to long-on where Suresh Raina completed a catch and the batsmen took a single. When the umpires referred it upstairs to check for overstepping, it was found that Jadeja had bowled a no-ball. Initially doing the right thing and ignoring the single that was taken by Simmons and Andre Russell, the scorers corrected the total, adding a run.
The rule says, when the umpires refer for no-ball following a dismissal, the ball is considered dead and the run is not counted.