WI canter to 135-run win, clinch series
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WI canter to 135-run win, clinch series

The West Indies outplayed India by 135 runs in the seventh and final limited-over international to clinch the series 4-3 Sunday in Vijaywada.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2002 00:05 IST

For the West Indies at least there was nothing bittersweet about this Jamaican farewell. First, Marlon Samuels pummelled the cricket ball. Then, Jermaine Lawson made it sing, albeit with a little help from the Indians.

And thanks to these two Jamaicans, the Caribbeans won big here today. The TVS Cup will now have to take a trans-continental flight after the West Indies won the seven-match series 4-3.

For Carl Hooper, who isn't getting any younger and at 36 may have made his last visit to India, there couldn't have been a better parting gift. Especially, given the way this tour began.

For the record, India, set to score 316 for victory folded up for 180 in 36.5 overs after a pathetic display of batsmanship.

One day before the touring party for the Test series in New Zealand gets picked, Sarandeep Singh's bowling and Yuvraj Singh's batting - his late flurry of strokes didn't alter the eventual outcome although it provided the sellout crowd some late afternoon entertainment - were the only positives that emerged.

Vijayawada reversed the trend of whoever bats second wins but from an Indian point of view, this city deserved a better debut.

After Samuels late charge took him to his first One-day international hundred (108 not out from 74 balls with 10 fours and five sixes) India needed a whirlwind effort from someone. But Lawson had other ideas.

Drafted into the team in the last minute because Pedro Collins woke up with a sore back, the young fast bowler got Virender Sehwag to slice into Hooper's hands. Then, VVS Laxman was caught at the wicket and Dinesh Mongia yorked.

When Rahul Dravid fell to a stunning catch by Ramnaresh Sarwan and it was virtually all over. Mohammad Kaif ensured there wouldn't be a repeat of the NatWest Trophy final when he played on to Corey Collymore.

The famed Indian batting had suddenly landed belly up with over 13 overs to spare.

So long, the bowlers were a worry. They were that and more today too. In addition, when they were needed most, the batsmen fell to cavalier shots.

For the visitors, the start was sedate. Thanks to Samuels, the end was anything but that. He smashed Javagal Srinath for 21 runs in the 47th over, hitting him for a huge six over long-off.

In the same over, Samuels sent one past the bowler and a lofted off-drive crashing into the fence. Sehwag went for two sixes in the next over.

Man-of-the-Match Samuels - he also won the award for the maximum sixes and Rs 20,000 that went with it - reached his century in the last over which yielded 16 runs.

India conceded a whopping 69 runs in the last five overs and 121 in the last 10 but though Dravid's persistence with Murali Kartik was questionable, there was little the bowlers could do in the wake of such sustained onslaught.

Samuels reached his 50 in the 44th over, tearing into Bangar.

That set the tone of things to come. Bangar went for 15 in that over, Samuels hitting him for three consecutive fours. Sandwiched between a delicate flick and one that careened through square-leg was a smashing cover-drive, none of which gave the fielders any chance.

Statistics don't always tell the story but the fact that he scored his second 50 in 23 balls with five fours and three sixes is proof enough of the late morning blitzkrieg at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium today.

The usually-reliable Kaif dropped him, off Ajit Agarkar on 27 and boy, didn't that prove costly.

Playing straight and playing the way the text books teach you to, Samuels' effort was just the kind of acceleration the West Indies needed after Wavell Hinds and Ramnaresh Sarwan stitched together a 116-run partnership to offset the early loss of Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Sarwan, who was involved in a 109-run stand with Samuels, stepped up the gear after the field spread and when Kartik and Bangar came on to bowl.

Samuels joined him after Hinds had his timber rattled while trying to go across the line to one from Sehwag that held its line. Soon, this 22-year-old Jamaican became the life and soul of the party.


First Published: Nov 24, 2002 09:08 IST