India pull off spectacular win, lead ODI series 2-0
Indian bowlers lived up to the gigantic task they had at hand, defeating West Indies by 20 runs in a nail-biting finish in the second ODI at Cuttack on Wednesday.
Zaheer Khan ruined West Indies' hopes of winning the match as he bowled out Chanderpaul for 67 in the 49th over. Earlier Joginder Sharma had effected Powell's wicket off Zaheer's delivery.
Though the batsmen failed to live up to the expectations, the bowlers gave India a reason to smile, taking some crucial wickets early in the game.
After disappointing with his bat, Sachin Tendulkar got lucky with the ball twice, when he sent back Smith for 27 and later Ian Bradshaw for two.
Romesh Powar dismissed Ramdin for a meagre six. Powar struck twice before, taking two quick wickets - departing Dwayne Bravo for 31, followed closely by Runako Morton for a duck.
Prior to Bravo, Harbhajan Singh dismissed Marlon Samuels cheaply, while Devon Smith was run out off all-rounder Joginder Sharma's delivery. The dew-factor seemed to come into the ground when Smith slipped in the center of the pitch.
Ajit Agarkar packed off stand-in skipper Chris Gayle for five in the second over of the game.
Earlier, the Indians batsmen surrendered meekly to the Caribbean pace attack with wickets falling at regular intervals.
With Karthik and Agarkar as the top-scorers, the hosts managed to gather 189 runs in 48.2 overs.
Fast bowler Daren Powell came out with his career-best performance grabbing four wickets. Ian Bradshaw and Dwayne Bravo picked two wickets each while Smith took one.
Among Indians batsmen, wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik's waged a lone battle with 63 runs off 87 balls though the rest of the middle order failed to provide any support. However, soon he received help from unexpected quarters as he and Ajit Agarkar struck a 62-run partnership. But, Bradshaw uprooted Karthik to leave the match in the tailenders' kitty.
Prior to Karthik, Harbhajan Singh fell to Bravo for six runs.
After Joginder Sharma and Dhoni headed back to the pavilion in quick succession, the onus was left on Karthik to steer India to a decent total, who did manage to gather some runs for his side.
While Sharma was removed by Powell for 1, Dhoni got out to a delivery from Powell for six.
Captain Dravid too surrendered to the Powell attack for a meagre 22 in the 15th over.
Powell sent back Tendulkar as well in the 11th over when the Little Master gave away an easy catch to Bradshaw at mid-on.
Prior to the his exit, India lost the wickets of Ganguly and Gambhir cheaply. Powell ruined comeback man Ganguly's hopes of repeating his performance from the first ODI, as he packed off the opener for 13 in the ninth over. Gautam Gambhir was caught behind by Ramdin off Bradshaw's delivery in the third over of the match.
Indian captain Rahul Dravid elected to bat after winning the toss against the tourists being led by stand-in captain Chris Gayle in the absence of Brian Lara.
Having won the first match in Nagpur, the home side were in an advantageous position. Lara sat out due to a nagging knee problem. Devon Smith was the substitute.
In the Indian side, all-rounder Joginder Sharma replaced paceman S Sreesanth.
India: G Gambhir, SC Ganguly, R Dravid, SR Tendulkar, KD Karthik, MS Dhoni, AB Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, RR Powar, Joginder Sharma.
West Indies: CH Gayle, S Chanderpaul, MN Samuels, DR Smith, DS Smith, RS Morton, D Ramdin, DB Powell, JE Taylor, DJ Bravo, IDR Bradshaw.