India v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Ahmedabad December 5, 2011

Windies overcome Rohit Sharma to end India's streak

173

West Indies 260 for 5 (Samuels 58, Sammy 41*, Russell 40*) beat India 244 (Rohit 95, Rampaul 4-57) by 16 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It took Darren Sammy and Andre Russell 5.4 overs of mayhem to undo India's impressive afternoon, and plot their first defeat in 12 home games. They came together after Ravindra Jadeja pulled off an outfield catch for the ages to remove Kieron Pollard, West Indies' most dangerous batsman on paper. Sammy and Russell proceeded to test that assumption with an unbroken partnership of delightful ferocity that yielded 79, propelling West Indies to 260. The bowlers, led by the irrepressible Ravi Rampaul, then sliced through India's top order and set up West Indies' first win on tour.

Two things have been constant in this series - Rohit Sharma's pristine form, and the game-changing capabilities of the last wicket pair. Under lights, West Indies did enough to overcome both and finish on top. Rohit stroked a pleasing 95 as India crumbled around him, but ran himself out in a desperate effort to manipulate the strike to be the ninth man dismissed. Abhimanyu Mithun and Umesh Yadav then lashed 28 for the final wicket to keep West Indies on edge, before Rampaul yorked Mithun to close the game.

Barring Rohit's stunner, which puts him firmly in the frame for a Test debut in Australia, almost nothing went India's way. Yadav and Vinay Kumar impressed with the new balls before being pounded at the death. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir bagged first-ball ducks to extend their worrying runs of poor form, with Australia looming. To make matters worse, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina perished to umpiring errors that could have been reversed if the DRS had been in place.

It was a stunning turnaround for India, who could scarcely put a foot wrong earlier after winning the toss. Seam and swing weren't supposed to be part of the agenda on a sweltering afternoon, but Vinay produced away seamers, Yadav pace and swing, and Mithun a raft of indippers. India's spinners backed them up well to ensure they kept winning the big moments. The half-centurion Marlon Samuels exited just as he was primed for assault. The man most likely to assist him, Darren Bravo, was forced to retire hurt with a hamstring strain. And then Pollard was caught spectacularly to leave the innings faltering. The Sammy-Russell show was only getting started, though.

West Indies' cause was aided by India's inexperience, as Yadav and Mithun delivered despicable lengths in the slog. Sammy wound up for the fun by redirecting Vinay for two fours, before Russell carted Yadav for a monster six. Next, Sammy turned his attention towards Mithun, scything a wide ball, and hammering a length delivery for fours. He then unfurled two sixes dripping with typical Caribbean audacity on either side of the wicket - a slash over cover and a merry whiplash over midwicket. Russell then went ballistic in Yadav's last over, drilling a near yorker down the ground and fore-handing a length ball for fours, before teeing off towards the press box.

India seemed hung-over from the onslaught when they began their chase. Sehwag was yet to make a significant score since the World Cup, but still chased a short and wide first delivery from Rampaul without moving his feet. Gambhir followed immediately, shouldering arms after misreading an inswinger that straightened to catch him plumb on the crease. Parthiv Patel and Kohli responded with a slew of boundaries, but West Indies' spinners, and a couple of umpiring errors were about to derail India.

Kohli was struck in front as he looked to work the debutant offspinner Sunil Narine to leg, but the ball was sliding further down the leg side. The umpire Sudhir Asnani was convinced, though, and Kohli left the pitch spewing a litany of invective in his wake. Samuels then slipped a ripping offspinner past Parthiv's forward prod to disturb his stumps. Suresh Raina exited soon after, when umpire Tony Hill wrongly ruled him caught behind as he hopped across to glance Rampaul. India were tottering at 105 for 6 when Jadeja was run out, but Rohit carried on with a sense of remarkable calm.

He opened his account with a stunning inside-out lofted drive for six, and his shot-making through the covers and down the ground remained sublime all evening. But his rotation of strike, with an uncertain tail to shepherd, was equally exemplary. R Ashwin bottled up one end, West Indies backed away to allow the singles, and a 91-run stand was raised just like that. Sammy dropped both batsmen to aid India's progress, and West Indies were sweating by the time the batting Powerplay came on. Rohit plundered boundaries at will, and India were back in the chase, but it was time for another twist.

Narine, who displayed an ice-cool temperament for a debutant in front of a raucous crowd, gave Ashwin a taste of his own carrom ball to end the partnership, with India 65 runs away. Rohit stretched his luck decisively in the 44th over after pushing the ball to mid-on, and Sammy blasted the stumps out with a laser-sharp throw. The captain celebrated like a man relieved to finally pull a win back. Mithun slugged a couple of monster sixes to keep West Indies waiting, but they weren't enough to extend India's streak.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on December 7, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    Those who criticize Sammy's feild placing should realize that, when he brought in the field on the powerplays, the singles were still being taken. The WI close fielders are not as aggressive or atheletic as India's and finally, since he persisted with this tactic, isn't it obvious that it finds favour with his bosses?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 7, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    @Nampally, you might have predicted 4-1 or even a 5-0. Not a problem at all Nampally with the margin of predictions. The margin of prediction is not the problem here. The kind of language - we will beat them, we will eat them, smash them, Windies stand no chance, Windies are minnows, piece of lettuce in a double cheese burger - you see what I mean? That was pretty ordinary. Cricket is a great game of great uncertainities. If I'm not wrong, Sachin and Dravid were part of a hat-trick in this great game's history. Need we say more?

  • dummy4fb on December 7, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    The people started blaming viru and gambir after couple of failures. Common guys everyone having their own period of time and lean patches as well. You can't expect viru and gauti needsto score in all matches. Viru's care free approach won more matches for us. Let him play on his own way. He will make you all need to rethink after the two remaining matches. Couple of good knocks for viru before starting australia series is very important for us. If viru and gauti give some good start like before always we have a chance to defeat anyone and anywhere in the world. Dropping gauti and giving warning to viru and all premature statement.

  • kdevil3 on December 7, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    For WI , one test draw = series win , one ODI victory or tie = Series win ,they must change thier attitude .Like WI ...Indians are also with team for the futher ...but for them 1 draw = series lose , 1 odi lose = series lose ..........Both coach & caption of WI should learn from indians .NZ captain Vetori had a tough time in Sub-cont ,but he had a beter attitude than WI. Sammy allways speaks about crossing the line ..... but its not just the line .Anyhow well done for the victory ....but please at least try for the series victory.

  • go_pk_go on December 7, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    So called "Cricket GOD", lost by minnows, what a shame

  • SirViv1973 on December 7, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Andre Russell looks like he could be a star in the making. He impressed in the ODI's in the Carribean earlier this year and has impressed in this series to. I just hope the WICB are able to keep him out of the clutches of the IPL and he dosen't end up going down the same road as Dwayne Bravo.

  • Precioustar84 on December 6, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    @Shamshir Hussain - don't drag pakistan here? Its Pak people that drag themselves here as soon as India looses a match because of a sad obsession they have over India's losing. Its never a surprise to see such comments from them who have nothing better to do than wait for India to lose. Read all the comments previously made by pakistanis who have emerged from their hidings and than speak. And don't contradict your comment by dragging in other teams (England) if you say you only want us to talk about India. Same can be said about Pak team which couldn't even chase 91 without losing 5 wickets. And Oh! once England goes farther, you can see them being hammered by India...!! Cricinfo please publish

  • Nampally on December 6, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: I had predicted 4-1 win for India & they will.But this ODI was one that got away due to many reasons. Giving Mithun & Yadev the last 2 overs was huge mistake & inexperience on part of Sehwag, the Skipper.Personally I would have kept Jadeja & Ashwin to do the honours.This is where India lost 41 runs. WI are good against pace. Tie them down with spinners. Of course the 2 Umpiring decisions involving the star indian batsmen Kohli & Raina became a major factor.Last but not the least was brilliant fielding by WI in getting 2 Runouts, including that of Rohit sealed the loss. However the most disturbing factor was 2 golden Ducks by Sehwag & Gambhir - very shocking on eve of the Australian tour. These 2 guys have to really shape up or Indian batting will not show up.Sehwag is still not putting Gambhir to open the innings with him. Indian selectors need to really come hard on these 2 guys - challenge them to open the innings & score at least 50 each in the next 2 tests.

  • riverlime on December 6, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Finally, Ramdin is showing his maturity and PLANNING his shots rather than trying to smack everything to the boundary. I hope he remembers the satisfaction of seeing his measured knock contribute to a WIN for the team. Lets hope he replicates that attitude in the next match. He is on a short leash otherwise, and if he fails to deliver, WICB will swing back to the Doughnut-handed Baugh.

  • Sakthiivel on December 6, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    @ Asad Ullah Khan : Wow you team beats the best ODI in the world great... Why your team always play away game. Hoho only team in the world doesnt have home matches..

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