West Indies v India, only Twenty20, Trinidad June 4, 2011

India win tour opener despite early wobble

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India 159 for 6 (Badri 43, Sammy 4-16) beat West Indies 143 for 5 (Bravo 41, Harbhajan 2-25) by 16 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

During a five-over spell of poor discipline, West Indies lost the tour opener, the only Twenty20 international in Port of Spain. Led by Darren Sammy's four-wicket haul, the hosts bossed India for 15 overs on a spinners' paradise, but then they dropped a catch, took a wicket off a no-ball, bowled a lot of length, and the 72 runs they conceded in the last five overs proved to be the deciding factor. With two specialists spinners handcuffing the chase, the West Indies batsmen never really threatened India's total, although they lost only two wickets in the first 15.3 overs.

West Indies had been much more clinical for the majority of the first half of the game. Two reprieved men, though, - Rohit Sharma, dropped on 8, and S Badrinath, caught off a no-ball on 25 and not given stumped on 36 - played crucial parts in those five overs that went for 72. India's first 72 had taken more than 12 overs on a Queen's Park Oval pitch that had been under covers for most of the week because of rain. It misbehaved profusely: a few deliveries took the top surface with them, and the spinners managed disconcerting turn even without giving the ball much air. To make it worse for India, it drizzled for about the first 12 overs of the innings, but not hard enough to send the players off. There were two massive boundary-less periods: 19 balls at the start and 32 in the middle.

The way the ball turned justified India's call to play two specialist spinners, in Harbhajan Singh and R Aswhin, but West Indies inflicted damage even before spin was introduced. Their captain Sammy exploited the conditions with slower offcutters, slicing a chunk out of India's batting during an unbroken four-over spell, even as Chris Gayle watched from the stands, dressed in flashy party wear and a cap that said "captain".

Sammy's first wicket, though, was with a bouncer that cramped the debutant Shikhar Dhawan, and kissed the side of the bat on its way through to Andre Fletcher. Virat Kohli got a massive leading edge to a slower delivery, Parthiv Patel lobbed another offcutter to point, and Suresh Raina heaved to mid-on. Following that, Nurse and Bishoo stifled India, but the turning points came in the 14th and 16th overs.

First Nurse passed a maiden international wicket by failing to hold onto a simple return catch from Rohit. Then Rampaul seemed to have got rid of Badrinath, but the replays showed his front foot had landed on the line. The resultant free hit went for four, which should actually have been six because Nurse caught the ball on the full and dived on the boundary rope, and that opened the floodgates.

Rohit hit Rampaul for a six down the ground, and Badrinath hit two fours off Bishoo's next over. In between those boundaries, Badrinath was stumped, but the umpire Peter Nero refused to even refer it to the third umpire. The 18th over, bowled by Christopher Barnwell, was a disaster for West Indies even though he managed Rohit's wicket. He began with five wides and was hit for two sixes, one each by Rohit and Yusuf Pathan, in a 20-run over. Bishoo did some damage control in the 19th, but Rampaul came back to bowl length in the 20th, and was smacked for a six and a four by Harbhajan Singh.

Expectedly India wasted little time in unleashing spin after Praveen Kumar opened the defence with a maiden over. Ashwin and Harbhajan proved to be too good at the start, and Ashwin - albeit fortuitously - removed Lendl Simmons early. The man to blame was Nero again, who ruled Simmons caught behind off the thigh, and also off the wicketkeeper's helmet.

What followed involved no luck. Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo managed to not lose their wickets but struggled to stay in touch with the asking-rate. As the ball turned and bounced, surely they would have wondered why their home pitches should test their weakness, and not the opposition's. That didn't explain lack of urgency in running between the wickets. No Indian fielder felt under pressure to charge at the ball as West Indies were not looking to convert ones into twos.

The asking-rate touched 17 for the last five overs, and the first big risks taken by the pair resulted in wickets to Harbhajan. Barnwell displayed his big-hitting capabilities in a 16-ball 34, but he was left with too much to do to prevent West Indies' first T20 defeat to India.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • westindian4life on June 5, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    I saw this game live in the oval - it was difficult to understand the tactics of bravo and samuels - if it were not for barnwell's lusty hitting at the end i think that we would have faced serious embarassment in the end result - sammy opening the batting may not be a bad idea in 20 20 as a pinch hitter...just some thoughts - stantokie deserves a game...

  • fredie on June 5, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    Rohit is one of the most talented batsman in india right now.He has so much class above him.Remember the knock he played in Australia in Australia in CB series final as well in T20 world cup against oz on one of the bounciest and quickest wicket port of spain when none of the indian new crop batsman were able to adjust, he alone produced a gem.There is so much class about him like TENDULKAR,DRAVID,PONTING,KALLIS. Just that he hasnt yet realized his full potential.

  • wolf777 on June 5, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    @ M. David Wesley…you got to be kidding. Rohit Shrma doesn't deserve to be a member of the touring side let alone opening the inning. He is an IPL wonder who has so far failed despite of getting repeated chances

  • dummy4fb on June 5, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    Rohit sharma can't do justice at no 6. He should open the innings with Dhawan and Parthiv should come at no 6. That ll give a right-left combination at the top which can be maintained with likes of Raina-Kohli and Badri-Parthiv and finally Yusuf to complete!

  • dummy4fb on June 5, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    barnwell reminds me of bravo they have the style in playing their games i think they should try both of them in the same team he did well for guyana and will do well in the wi too .

  • aclarity on June 5, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    The WI selectors are really hopeless. They picked an excellent T20 squad but left the best T20 bowler for the past two seasons out of the final 11. What message are they sending to that young man? You can bowl better than Russell, Rampaul, Bishoo and Sammy for the past two seasons but you are not good enough for WI. I refuse to mention the player's name and the selectors may be dumb enough not to recognize their folly. Suffice it to say that the player would have added variety being the only left arm pacer in the squad. A missed opportunity because India would have struggled to make 120 runs if our best T20 bowler had been selected.

  • dummy4fb on June 5, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    @hawkeye30: get your facts rights..indian team is depleted..west indies is playing full strength..for me,chris gayle is only good in T-20 and kieron pollard is not even a cricket player ...

  • dummy4fb on June 5, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Ridiculous article...Badri played well. Getting out in a No-ball is not a chance its bowlers mistake. He came in a tough conditions and played well as he did many a times for CSK...The only difference he is doing it in proud Blue colors. He is a fantastic asset and many including me thought he cannot play T20 but batsman of his class can play in any format and conditions....Accolade him for his come back and Man of the Match effort...Instead finding faults isn't nice. Parthiv also did well at the top. Why so much coverage to mindless Rohit? Rohit is no more future of India...He is done and dusted IPL material.

  • InvicibleIndians on June 5, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Iif these kind of pitches are provided by WI against India, then they will be blanked out during ODI's and also in tests. Also, i feel Tiwary should be given a chance ahead of Rohit sharma in ODIs. Also, indians need to switch over quickly from T20 slambang to ODIs which is bit tougher. With Pollard and Bravo joining in ODIs and possibly Gayle and Roach later WI will become stronger and India must win the first 2 ODIs to put the pressure right on WI.

  • Jim1207 on June 5, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Herath, Dilshan also played IPL, but has scored two centuries in England plus in warm up matches too. Why are you not including his name while blaming IPL, because it would defeat your argument. If Sanga & Mahela are not playing well right now, it's only a matter of time. Good Luck, enjoy the cricket whatever it is.

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