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West Indies clinch series in great style

India lost their first ODI series in nine months as the hosts thrashed them by six wickets in Trinidad. Scorecard

india Updated: May 27, 2006 21:51 IST

A resurgent West Indies beat India by six wickets in the fourth one-day international toseal the five match series 3-1. Skipper Brian Lara lead from the front to guide the Windies to a rare, yet a comprehensive series victory.

Needing a win to seal the series, West Indies produced an outstandingperformance in field to restrict India to 217 for 7 in the stipulated 50 overs.

In reply, the hosts began the chase in style. After Chris Gayle's early onslaught, Brian Lara and Bravo took charge of the proceedings as the hosts romped home with six overs to spare.

Despite the loss of Samuels and Sarwan'swickets quite early, West Indies cruised towards the victory target.

West Indies run Chase

While Samuels was trapped leg-before by Irfan Pathan, Sarwan was caught by Virender Sehwag off Ajit Agarkar in his first over. At the end of the ninth over West Indies were 49/2.

Sarwan, the MoM of the last ODI was, the next to go when he edged an Agarkar delivery to Sehwag and was dismissed for a meagre 6 runs.

But playing what will probably be his penultimate one-day game at his home ground, Brian Lara produced a glorious match-winning 69. He found a willing ally in fellow Trinidadian Dwayne Bravo, who remained unbeaten on 61, and their 91-run stand shut out all hopes for India.

Earlier, West Indies skipper Brian Lara won the toss for the first time in the series and put India in to bat. His bowlers and fielders responded magnificently, showing sustained accuracy and control with the ball and never allowing the Indian batsmen to break away.

India's three top batsmen were cooling their heels in the pavilion at the 20-over stage. Virender Sehwag (11), Suresh Raina (7) and captain Rahul Dravid (15) were dismissed as India made heavy weather of the conditions.

Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif tried to resurrect the innings, but failed to give it a face-lift.

Top Order Collapse

Needing a good start to keep their hopes alive, Sehwag was the man India were looking to for the initial outburst, but he threw it all away as departed to the pavilion in thefourth over of the match.

The Delhi marauder was dismissed by Bradshaw when he tried to drive him through extra coversand Gayle took a beautiful catch.

Suresh Raina, who joined his skipper at the crease after Sehwag's departure, toocould not last long. He was dismissed by the same bowler for 7 runs when he edged a short delivery to Sarwan, who latched on to a fine catchat first slip.

Soonafter, 'The Wall' too crumbled leaving India reeling at 47/3. Playing away from his body, Dravid edged the ball to Sarwan at second slip who took a stupendous diving catch.

However, Yuvraj and Kaif batted splendidly in an effort to steady the innings. The duo put up a brilliant partnership of 80 runs to bring India back into the game.

Yuvraj, who had missed the previous match due to back spasms, showed signs of coming to grips with an enterprising half century. But he was dismissed soon after for 52 runs as he edged an away swinging delivery to Baugh who took a good low catch.

Meanwhile Mohammad Kaif, fresh from two half-centuries, continued the good work and he was joined by Dhoni at this crucial juncture.

However,in an effort to escalate therun rate Kaifmissed a Bravo delivery and was clean bowled in the 47th over. He made 63 in 84 balls.

Irfan Pathan (8) and Ajit Agarkar (0) departed in quick succession. Mahendra Singh Dhoni could failed to fire the Windies ballers but remained unbeaten at 46 (58 balls). At the end of the 50 overs India were 217.

West Indies team

CS Baugh, IDR Bradshaw, DJ Bravo, CD Collymore, FH Edwards, CH Gayle, WW Hinds, BC Lara, MN Samuels, RR Sarwan, DR Smith

India team

AB Agarkar, MS Dhoni, R Dravid, Harbhajan Singh, M Kaif, IK Pathan, RR Powar, SK Raina, V Sehwag, S Sreesanth, Yuvraj Singh

First Published: May 26, 2006 01:48 IST