ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v West Indies, World Cup 2011, Group B, Chennai

Yuvraj stars as India finish second

The Bulletin by Sidharth Monga

March 20, 2011

Comments: 84 | Text size: A | A

India 268 (Yuvraj 113, Kohli 59, Rampaul 5-51) beat West Indies 188 (Smith 81, Sarwan 39, Zaheer 3-26) by 80 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Zaheer Khan celebrates after bowling Devon Smith, India v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, March 20, 2011
Zaheer Khan sparked West Indies' collapse by removing the set Devon Smith © AFP

Oh West Indies, they have done it again. For the second match in a row they had a chase all wrapped up but some desperate inspiration from Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh and some mindless cricket from the batsmen who followed Devon Smith ensured that West Indies remained without a win over a Test side other than Bangladesh since June 2009. With Smith playing as well as he has ever played, West Indies almost mocked India for the first 27 overs, getting up to 146 for 2 without a care in the world. Then came a maiden by Harbhajan and a wicked Zaheer slower ball to remove Smith, and West Indies lost the last eight wickets for 34.

That collapse outdid India's own - 7 for 50 - that had threatened to undo Yuvraj Singh's century on a track whose bounce West Indies and Ravi Rampaul exploited, but not to the fullest. Rampaul, the hero of West Indies' last win against a major side, took his first five-for in ODIs on his World Cup debut to hurt the start, the middle and the end of the Indian innings. However, West Indies' insistence on opening the bowling with Sulieman Benn despite the helpful track, and the obvious plan of trying to bounce India out meant they couldn't capitalise on a first over that claimed Sachin Tendulkar. Then there was Yuvraj, with his maiden World Cup century, fighting dehydration, vomiting on the field, and then coming back to take two wickets.

The game might have ended in a whimper, but it began explosively. As they successfully did in the last two World Twenty20s, West Indies came out with bouncers for India. Inside the first 11 overs, two deliveries bounced over the keeper's head for byes, two batsmen got out to deliveries dug in short, one was dropped off another short delivery, but Benn went for 21 off his three overs to ease the pressure. To make matters worse Darren Sammy dropped Yuvraj twice, chances not easy but not impossible, at 9 and 13.

Working with Yuvraj was Virat Kohli, for whom it was almost a homecoming to bat at No. 3 in the absence of the injured Virender Sehwag. In familiar environs of not having to score at a strike-rate of 150, Kohli did just what was required on a tough pitch after a tough start, scoring 59 off 76, letting Yuvraj take the majority of the strike in a 122-run partnership, after the two had come together at 51 for 2.

Even after Yuvraj was reprieved twice, the bouncers still kept coming, the odd ball still misbehaved - especially for the left-hand batsman. He got dehydrated and threw up but nothing seemed to be able to stop the Yuvraj specials in between, shots that kept the scoring rate up in the middle overs. Kohli was smart too: he had played 21 deliveries when Yuvraj came to join him, but so good was the strike manipulation that Yuvraj had played 12 more deliveries than him by the time their partnership ended.

Quarter-final line-up

  • Pakistan v West Indies in Dhaka on 23 March
  • Australia v India in Ahmedabad on 24 March
  • New Zealand v South Africa in Dhaka on 25 March
  • Sri Lanka v England in Colombo on 26 March
  • The winner of the third quarter-final will play the winner of the fourth in the semi-finals in Colombo on 29 March, while the other semi-final will be played in Mohali on March 30

During the partnership, Yuvraj pulled over midwicket, cover-drove for fours along the ground, swept the legspin of Devendra Bishoo, and on-drove Sammy over long-on for a majestic six. It was one of those days when Yuvraj was feeling it, one of those days when he plays one level above the game around him. His mates, though, managed to engineer another collapse from 218 for 3 in the 42nd over.

Buoyed by that good finish with the ball, West Indies came out positive. As Rampaul stood up in the absence of the unwell Kemar Roach, so Smith did in place of the injured Chris Gayle. He cut furiously - almost every bowler got a taste of his trademark shot - he picked singles straight to infielders, doubles straight to those in the deep. However, R Ashwin, who got his World Cup debut at long last, was difficult to hit with the new ball. He used his carrom ball to remove the potentially explosive Kirk Edwards.

Still Smith and Darren Bravo first, and Smith and Ramnaresh Sarwan thereafter kept knocking off the runs calmly. The running between the wickets, and then the odd boundary to break a string of dots, remained a feature. The panic and rush that characterised their effort against England was conspicuous in its absence. With Smith scoring at will, and West Indies needing just 123 in the last 23 overs, only West Indies stood in the way of West Indies.

Turned out they needed a bit of help from India to kickstart the collapse. It came through a maiden from Harbhajan, who came back remarkably after an uninspiring spell of four overs for 23 with the new ball. Harbhajan and Munaf Patel put together a spell of 19 balls for just eight runs before Zaheer was called upon to provide the exclamation mark.

And how he did, with his new knuckle slower ball, where the middle finger doesn't hold the ball tightly, thus taking the pace off without giving any indication to those who are watching from the front. With that slower ball, he removed Smith's off stump after a virtually faultless innings. After that, the procession began. Kieron Pollard holed out to long-on at the first sight of pressure, Sammy was sold down the river by Sarwan, Devon Thomas and Andre Russell fell to the wiles of Yuvraj, and it was all over.

The way West Indies and India collapsed, conspiracy theorists will waste no time in suggesting that both teams wanted to avoid Australia in the quarter-final. As it turned out, West Indies finished fourth in Group B, thus getting Group A leaders Pakistan in Dhaka. And India renew hostilities with Australia in Ahmedabad.

Match Timeline

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by prashant on (March 23, 2011, 4:51 GMT)

Before the starting of ICC World Cup 2011, people were suspecting position of Yuvrej in the Indian team but now after the completion of the league stage it is clear to everyone that he has been the most valuable layer in indian side.

Posted by Michael on (March 22, 2011, 23:45 GMT)

It amazes me that because Rampaul got 5 wickets in the last match,he should be in the team against Pak.Also people are calling for Bishoo in place of Benn.People,all because Benn dind't have a good last match,he should be dropped.Why ????Benn and Roach are the two bowlers who got the WI there in the first place.If that was the case,Pollard who also failed in his last 2 innings,should be dropped and Chanderpaul or Edwards included.Sarwan as I said LONG before the WC,should stop play acting on the cricket field,and head straight for Hollywood !Sarwan doesn't have the interest of WI cricket at heart.Just watch how,when, and where he gets out, and his general attitude when batting. Chanders must play,and should open if the WI are batting first,and bat way down the order if chasing,in order to guide the tail.My team,Gayle,Chanders,Smith,Bravo,Sarwan Pollard,Sammy,Russell ,Benn,Thomas,Roach.Of course Sammy and Coach needs to be flexible with this team ,and rearrange the lineup to suit. .

Posted by Rock on (March 22, 2011, 15:05 GMT)

Dhoni is the only one in Indian team who is not playing his game. He's relying on bhajji and other tail enders to score. I prefers to be on runners end. This is not at all a sign of good captain.

Posted by Mohsin on (March 22, 2011, 10:33 GMT)

in 1st QF pak is fav but pak must remember that in 96 with the same format WI were 4th but they went on 2 beat SA. in 2ndQF ind, Sa vs nz, sa wil win and in sl vs eng sl wil win unless swaan makes any heroics but eng batting is a concern n also jimmy is strluging so i mst go wd SL.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 22, 2011, 7:06 GMT)

Pakistan and Australia will be facing each other once again in Semi-finals. History is going to repeat itself. In 1992 Pakistan beat New Zealand in a group match and then defeated them again in Seme-finals. Now it is the turn of Australia to lose in group match as well as in Semi-finals. It is a possibility that Pakistan meet England in the Finals again.

Posted by Hildreth on (March 22, 2011, 6:19 GMT)

I absolutely agree with you 'Gerry Liljohn' that there is an abscence of a learning curve among WI team SELECTORS including the Capt SAMMY and Coach GIBSON. It's like TRIAL & ERROR. Eg what is going on with the batting line-up? WI started their WC campaign with 5 specialist batsmen which was not bad when Dwayne Bravo batted at 6. After Dwayne's injury Pollard was promoted to 6. Then Gayle was injured but no replacement meant that Pollard batted at 5. That was reckless but they escaped because he scored 94. Against England they again played 4 spec batsmen but paid dearly because England had superior bowling. The selectors apparently learnt nothing from that and played 4 specialist batsmen against INDIA. Again Sarwan was left stranded when from Pollard down collapsed in a heap. WI only have to look at the batting line-up of the major teams to realize their mistakes. To beat Pakistan my team for Qt final:Gayle,Smith,Bravo,Sarwan,Chand,Pollard,Sammy,Thomas,Bishoo,Rampaul,Roach.

Posted by Sree on (March 22, 2011, 5:07 GMT)

Whatz the role of Munaf patel in the team? He wont get any wicket unless the batsman decides to give him any.Still wonder why Dhoni is sticking with him. Ishant or RP was far better than him, atleast with their attitudes.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 22, 2011, 2:07 GMT)

With Rampaul on a rampage for wickets....Roach and Tigerpaul fit .....Someone plz tell me how and y Sammy can fit in the team to face Pak.

Posted by V.L on (March 21, 2011, 22:59 GMT)

@PottedLambShanks Where have you been? If you have not seen even Bangladesh and Ireland have beaten the English. So this was no easy group. On their day any of those teams(other than the dutch) could give a scare. South Africa was 126-5 against Ireland before Duminy rescued them.

Posted by vic tor on (March 21, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

Just a small observation that many of you may have noticed. Edwards was clearly run out by Kohli, who also appealed, but Taufal refused to go to the third umpire to check it out. It was shown on TV numerous times, and everyone saw it was definitely out. Ofcourse mistakes happen, but these can be very costly in the QFs etc. So in future, I feel all runouts and stumpings should automatically be referred to the third umpire, to avoid any problems in the future, and thereby erasing any mistakes that can happen with erroneous umpiring. Fortunately, Edwards didn't last long, and funnily enough, he was given not out by the other umpire, Steve Davis, but overturned on referral.

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