Sachin's sizzler goes in vain, WI win by D/L method
Returning after a six-month-long break, Sachin made an unbeaten 141 and carried his bat for only the second time in his ODI career. However, rain played spoilsport and WI won by 29 runs under D/L rule.india Updated: Sep 16, 2006 12:12 IST
Team India, it seems has been jinxed with a 'rain-spell' ever since it travelled to Sri Lankan capital in August. Wherever the team plays, weather gods unleash their prowess to the fullest.
On Thursday, however, heavy rain dealt its cruelest blow of all - not only pouring cold water on Sachin's comeback sizzler, but also ensuring that Windies escaped with a sneaky 29-run victory.
Chasing a mammoth target of 309 runs after a superlative batting performance by the maestro who smashed an unbeaten 141, Windies motored along on its run-chase, compiling 141 runs for the loss of just 2 wickets in 20 overs.
No team shared the advantage at that point and the match was open to any result. Even though Indian bowlers were sloppy, there was always a chance of a maniacal batting collapse.
Rain, however, came down heavy at the sparsely-crowded Kinrara Oval stadium and refused to cease. The umpires recalculated the target for 20 overs, and to Dravid's horror, ruled that West Indies were ahead of the target by 29 runs.
Considering the fact that Tendulkar picked up the man-of the-match award, India will be ruing its bad luck on Thursday as it looked too good for the Caribs. But it paid a heavy price for RP Singh and Irfan Pathan's wayward fare.
The next match of the tournament is scheduled for Saturday between India and Australia.
West Indies hopes of kicking off their run-chase on a flyer, was dealt a severe blow when the star of the first ODI - Shivnariane Chanderpaul - departed for just 6 runs early on in the game.
RP Singh replacing ineffective Pathan (2 overs- 11 runs), proved to be even more expensive, but more importantly was the nemesis of the WI bat.
However, much to Dravid's surprise, Chris Gayle adopted a counter-attacking style of play and along with Sarwan to push Indians on the back-foot.
The next 39 balls to him contained 9 hits to the fence, tormenting the Indian bowlers in the process.Careless RP Singh was singled out for special treatment.
Even after he departed, his brief blitzkreig set a strong platform for other Caribbean batsmen to follow.
Brian Lara and Ramesh Sarwan, this time ensured there was no hiccups and the opener's effort would not go in vain.
The duo pushed along the scoring rate, with Lara taking a uncanny fancy to Harbhajan Singh's wayward fare. His only six off the spinner kept travelling in a line parallel to the ground.
Sachin Tendulkar on Thursdayissued a vociferous warning to cricketing nations around the world: Beware his might!
Returning to international cricket as an opener after an extended injury lay-off, the Master Blaster hit the straps immediately, thrashing his way to a 40th one-day ton in his inimitable style - al la vintage Sachin!
Riding on the little man's big shoulders, India piled up a mammoth total of 309 runs with a loss of 5 wickets in the stipulated quota of 50 overs.
With 141 unbeaten runs of 148 balls, 13 fours and 5 super-hits - the stats itself tell the story. But the intensity and the passion he displayed during his comeback is something cricket buffs will hope to witness again and again.
With dogged Dravid and thereafter Pathan alongside him after India elected to bat under slightly overcast conditions, Sachin ripped apart the sloppy West Indies bowlers with stunning regularity, managing it consistently to boot.
Not only did did the fluent fours race from his bat, but small nudges and pushes rocketed to the fence. Fidel Edwards continued his woeful form from the 1st ODI,bearing the major brunt of his attack.
Tendulkar reached his hundred in the 39th over, stepping across the stumpsto turn Taylor to square leg-regionand cue joyful scenes in the Indian dressing-room.
Apart from the maestro though, none of the batters looked like coming to terms with the variable bounce... except Pathan.
As the rest of the batting line-up struggled, Pathan, coming in at no 3 again, made the bowlers pay for their wayward fare. His drives were crisp off the off-side where he got his majority of runs.
He soon stroked his way to a sensational fifty. He, however became a victim of his own success, having his furniture disrupted at 64 with the help of two fours and two sixes.
Viru coming down the order, looked out of sorts and expectedly returned to the pavillion without making much of a difference.
Raina, though did not let his failure or Yuvraj's absence affect India's run-riot, proving to be the perfect partner forSachin.
First Published: Sep 15, 2006 00:00 IST