India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Indore December 8, 2011

Sehwag wins series for India with record 219


India 418 for 5 (Sehwag 219, Gambhir 67, Raina 55) beat West Indies 265 (Ramdin 96, Jadeja 3-34, Rahul Sharma 3-43) by 153 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It took nearly four decades for a batsman to score the first double-century in one-day international cricket but less than two years for the second. Virender Sehwag, the batsman most touted to break Sachin Tendulkar's record for the highest individual ODI score, didn't merely break it - he shattered it and raised the bar so high that it's hard to imagine anyone, apart from Sehwag himself, raising it higher.

Unlike Tendulkar in Gwalior, Sehwag wasn't running out of time as he raced towards 200 in Indore. He got there in the 44th over and had made 219 off 149 balls by the time he was dismissed in the 47th. And in one of cricket's stranger coincidences, both ODI double-centuries were scored in the same Indian state - Madhya Pradesh - at venues less than 500 kilometres apart.

Sehwag's performance led India to 418 for 5, their highest ODI total, and sealed victory in the five-match series against West Indies. It was an innings characteristic of Sehwag's approach to batting. He hit his second ball for four and simply did not stop. He took plenty of risks too, surviving two run-out chances and two dropped catches, but thundered on, ensuring India's run-rate stayed above seven after the 15th over. Sehwag's only out-of-character moment came in the 20th over, when he dived to avoid being run out. Sehwag never dives. It was a sign that he was determined to stay the course. He went to 50 off 41 balls, to 100 off 69 balls, to 150 off 112 and past 200 off 140. The record was broken with a withering cut that sped to the backward-point boundary, and he celebrated with an aggressive fist-pump before breaking into a smile.

Before this game, and after each of the previous three, Sehwag had admitted that the top-order failures, which he contributed to, were the reason India had struggled in their chases. Sehwag had made a duck in the previous match in Ahmedabad, where India lost, but led by example today.

India did two things differently at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. They chose to bat for the first time in the series and also opened with their strongest combination, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, pushing Parthiv Patel down the order. The upshot of those decisions was an opening partnership of 176 that began smoothly, picked up speed, and gathered the momentum of a runaway train before it was eventually ended, inevitably, by a run-out.

A strong crowd continued the trend of resurging attendances during the home ODIs and they cheered the first boundary in the second over, when Sehwag flicked Ravi Rampaul's first ball for four - a welcome he would give several other West Indian bowlers. Sehwag looked dangerous from the start. Gambhir did not. After making only 3 off 15 balls, Gambhir finally had the width he needed and cut Kemar Roach to the point boundary.

Both batsmen could have been dismissed on 20, though. Sehwag had given up hope of making his ground but Kieron Pollard missed the stumps from point, and Andre Russell dropped Gambhir on his follow through. Gambhir began to steer, cut and drive through the off side frequently, going over fielders' heads and placing wide of the boundary riders. Seven of his first nine fours were in this region. India ended the mandatory Powerplay on 63 for 0.

The field spread after that but it didn't matter. Sehwag and Gambhir scored 45 runs between overs 11 and 15. This passage began with Sehwag hoisting the offspinner Sunil Narine's first ball over the long-on boundary. He then launched Darren Sammy's first inside out over extra cover. This passage ended with Sehwag hammering Narine again, this time into the stands beyond deep midwicket.

The field came in for the bowling Powerplay and Gambhir immediately cut Roach through point, and then dabbed for a single to reach his half-century off 51 balls. The smash-and-dab combo was a feature of the partnership. Sehwag got to his hundred with a fierce cut, hit in the air, brushing the fingertips of the leaping fielder at point before speeding to the boundary. The next ball, he ran Gambhir out, to a direct hit from Samuels. Visibly upset with himself, Sehwag continued to punish West Indies.

When he was hitting fours, Sehwag preferred to go square of the wicket, flicking and glancing the numerous deliveries he received on the pads, and opening the face to pepper the backward-point boundary. When he wanted six, he usually went straighter, targeting the arc between midwicket and long-on. He hit 25 fours and seven sixes in all. On 170, in the 38th over, Sehwag spooned Rampaul towards cover, where Sammy dropped a dolly, leaving the bowler distraught.

The rest of the innings was a blur of boundaries and landmarks. Suresh Raina got to his half-century off 42 balls. India reached 300 in 39.1 overs. Sehwag broke his personal best - 175 against Bangladesh in the World Cup - with a flick to the square-leg boundary. He went past 8000 ODI runs with a chip over the fielder at short fine leg. That shot took him from 191 to 195, and soon he was cutting Russell to send India into rapture. When Sehwag was dismissed - lofting Pollard to the substitute Anthony Martin at long-off - most of the West Indian fielders came from far and wide to shake his hand.

Sehwag did not come out to field - the only blot on his performance - and watched from the dressing room as West Indies' top-order batsmen crashed and burned amid a flurry of shots. India's debutant legspinner Rahul Sharma struck with the last ball of each of his first three overs in international cricket, bowling Marlon Samuels, Danza Hyatt and Pollard to leave West Indies reeling at 100 for 5.

Rahul, who's been in India's squads since the home ODIs against England but stayed on the bench, bowled a variety of deliveries. He sent down legbreaks, googlies and topspinners at varying speeds, but it was the one delivered quicker that brought him success.

Samuels tried to cut a fast topspinner but bottom-edged it onto his stumps. Hyatt then stepped out of the crease, but was yorked by a fast legbreak. The ball pitched outside leg stump and spun between the batsman's pads to bowl him. Pollard was the next to go, swinging across the line and missing a topspinner that clipped off stump.

After losing more wickets, West Indies decided to bat out time instead of playing shots, and the match ended in stark contrast to how it began - tamely. Denesh Ramdin, however, made 96, his best score and the highest by a West Indies wicketkeeper in ODIs. His 64-run partnership with No. 11 Sunil Narine merely kept India on the field longer than they would have liked.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    Wow this was amazing man i couldnt even believe ma eyes.. Anyways congrats Shewag but plz Biswajit Nayak.... this isnt a game of dominance but a game of real gentlemen so show some respect to other nations too... India is a good team but its not only about them... We all should respectt each and every player... Yaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrr....

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    For Sehwag, the triple hundred in ODI's is likely in future. Vehemence of power, favoured by luck, excellent technical batting, majestic supporters, and a perfect pitch.... Thus, it is possible for him.......

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Wow....its can getable by Indian, we have two gems like Sehewag & Sachin of Indian Cricket to cross the all other milestone as well....& I hope after him nobody in the world to cross there Records......Well-done India…..keep making all the records …..& dominate the world of cricket….

  • V.L on December 10, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    @RandyOZ Atleast its better than the 47 alklk out Aus scored against SA and the 136 against NZ. It seems the Aussies continue to belittle achievements of other countries' players even when they are about to hit rock bottom. Lets hope that they will learn their lesson after they are humbled by India!

  • Harmon on December 9, 2011, 18:54 GMT


    Firstly, you yourself are so confused in your reasoning. Please fix the ground of your argument and then argue over it through and through. Don't change the criteria on your whims. Either stick to the non BD/Zim criteria or to the less/more test matches criteria. Secondly, where in my last comments have I said or even indicated that Ponting is not one of the greats? In fact, had you been more observant, you would have seen my admiration for Ponting in my past comments. Thirdly, even if we extrapolate Ponting's record to Sachin's test count, Ponting still falls short. So Ponting falls short on the BD/Zim criteria, falls short on the test match extrapolation criteria and Ponting would fall short even if we take his full career avg and consider Sachin's reduced avg and then extrapolate. Btw, your data is wrong, check it again. So on the criteria chosen by you (not me) if SRT still has a better record than RP, what does it tell you? If X>Y would you still say Y is more than X?

  • Sam on December 9, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Virendar Sehwag - The first "human" to score 200 in ODI, previous one was GOD

  • Ramesh on December 9, 2011, 16:57 GMT

    Tom Swyer, why are you excluding Sewag in your world eleven? Without any bias he is the best batsman in the world in any form of Cricket. Did you not Know that Greame Pollock rates him as the best in the world, greater than Sachin, or Petersen or Rahul Dravid or Ricky Pointing or Alister Cook. You were lucky, he was not fully fit to play in England and England had an easy victory over India in Test Matches. Though most Indians may not agree, Sachin is not the best Indian batsman. East or west Sewag is the best.

    Sewag is in a different league altogether comprising of Bradman, Lara,Sobers, Viv Richards and Hammond greatest of all time cricket greats. Have you seen Sewag's 319 against South Africa, Bowlers Tini, Dayle stein, Morkel, or his 309 against Pakistan, Bowlers Shoib Akthar,Umar Gul and Md.Sami or his 293 against Srilanka bowlers, Muthaiya Murlitharan, Malinga, Mendis.. if you do not rate Sewag in your first world eleven, then you do not know Cricket. Ramesh,Mumbai

  • Jay on December 9, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    Cannot blame WI. They played with commitment as they usually do. However, they were just 'sehwaged' and no team can survive that.

  • Samrat on December 9, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    Hats off to Sehwag.But we should not compare Sachin's innings with that of Sehwag's.And the West Indies bowling line up is one of the worst in the world.

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    First, to India and Sehwag, congratulations on a dominating performance. As a West Indian, I was awed by the batting of the Indian side and Sehwag. West Indies surrendered the series with a bad fielding display, and I do believe Sammy should take a break. He was one of the best fielders in the side--the pressure of leading is obviously getting to him. And no, I don't think he's the worst captain ever. He does have a lot to learn. As for the comments about how bad West Indies was--just a game ago, we tore grudging respect from the Indian supporters. West Indies gave them a fight all this tour, and their refusal to go down in this match until the last over has been ignored. Ramdhin has scored after all the degrading comments sent his way. I still think this tour has showed a new look team with a bright future. Witness the way Indians are celebrating when this was a contest between no.2 and no.8. Some respect is due from the commenters on this site. Go West Indies! I back you all the way.

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