May 2, 2002

India skittled for 102 at Barbados

The Indians dislike Barbados as much as they like Port of Spain - or possibly more. After being asked to bat, India were knocked out for 102, a score largely deriving from an innings of 48 from Sourav Ganguly. Mervyn Dillon, striking gold right from ball one, ended with four for 41. In response the West Indies were 33 for one when one rain stoppage too many put an end to the day's play.

The Indian innings bore all the markings of a procession - a funeral procession, if you like. Glum faces and a lot of silence, right from the very first ball of the match.

A full, straight delivery from Dillon, angling in, got through the bat-pad gap and Shiv Sunder Das was clean-bowled for a golden duck. Das did not have to wait long in the changing rooms for his opening partner.

A change of guard in the opening partnership meant that Wasim Jaffer came into the side to join Das. After edging one streaky boundary through the slips and punching one cleanly off the back foot to the point fence, Jaffer failed the test. Poking at one outside the off, Jaffer walked back to the pavilion as Dillon celebrated his removal of both openers.

Sachin Tendulkar then dealt Indian fans a heavy blow, falling for a duck. When he played away from his body to give Pedro Collins his first wicket, caught behind by Ridley Jacobs, Tendulkar notched up ducks in consecutive innings for the first time in his 94-match career.

Rahul Dravid, the man for the occasion when India collapse, began well, nudging the ball into the gaps in characteristic fashion. Just when he was looking good, however, with the score on 50, a complete misunderstanding cost the Indian vice-captain his wicket. Dravid could not have the comfort of glaring at his partner, though, for it was none other than his skipper.

There was a series of calls, the usual "yes" and "no", before a good throw from Shivnarine Chanderpaul saw Cameron Cuffy whip off the bails at the bowler's end and Dravid (17) was found short of his crease.

VVS Laxman, Man of the Match in India's win at Port of Spain, played a loose shot. After making just one, Laxman played an airy drive away from his body, only to be bowled.

Ajay Ratra, after being dropped by Carl Hooper at slip, made sure that the West Indian skipper did not have to rue his mistake for long. Dillon was the beneficiary as Ratra (1) edged a delivery through to the 'keeper.

Harbhajan Singh pulled one ball to the fence in characteristic fashion before attempting to repeat the shot with somewhat different results. Dillon was the man waiting at deep-backward square when Harbhajan (13) sent the ball straight into his hands.

Zaheer Khan smacked one over-pitched Dillon delivery beautifully through covers but was undone by a sharp bouncer from Adam Sanford. Fending the ball off awkwardly, Zaheer only found Ramnaresh Sarwan at short-leg.

At this point, Ganguly realised that there was little point in sticking around. Coming down the track to Dillon, he seared one ball through covers before taking the aerial route for maximum off the very next ball.

Javagal Srinath did not last long, being trapped plumb in front by Dillon. The frequency of Ganguly's risk-taking increased, and with it the slashes over the infield. One such attempt saw Dillon take a superbly-judged catch right on the edge of the point fence.

That brought about the end of the Indian procession from wicket to pavilion. There is, in fact, a joke that does the rounds every time India are dismissed cheaply. "The batsmen are just going in to check if the markings have been done properly. Once they're happy with the crease markings they'll be back," goes the quip. That certainly applied to many of the batsmen on display today. In the face of what can be described as disciplined bowling at best, the batting fell apart.

One man, however, stood tall. Ganguly, with 48 (76 balls, three fours, one six), contributed almost half of India's final tally of 102.

The West Indies then proceeded to show that there was no devil in the wicket as they comfortably reached 33 for one when play was called off for the day. Stuart Williams (18), never the most convincing of openers, was the sole casualty, edging Zaheer Khan through to Jaffer in the slips.

Chris Gayle, thumping the ball through the offside as only he can, had 14 to his name, while Ramnaresh Sarwan was yet to get off the mark.

Thanks to several rain stoppages, only 46.1 overs were bowled on the day. No worries on that count though; there's still plenty of time left in this match.