Wills World Cup, Group A


At Gwalior, February 21 (day/night). India won by five wickets. Toss: West Indies.

This match was the first real test for both teams and India won it hands down. First, they dismissed the West Indians for 173 - less than they conceded to Kenya - on a decent pitch; then, inspired again by Tendulkar, they knocked off the runs inside 40 overs. In fact, both innings followed the same pattern up to the halfway mark: two early wickets falling to the strike bowler, then a recovery checked by the loss of the captain, caught in the deep, with the total in the early nineties. But whereas Richardson's departure sparked the first of two West Indian collapses - curiously, both of three wickets for eight in 12 balls - India steamed on. The key moments of the match came when Lara was given caught behind fifth ball, apparently off his pad, and later when Browne dropped a skier off Tendulkar, then 22. Tendulkar advanced to 70 from 91 balls, earning his second successive match award, before he was run out in a mix-up with Kambli, who then took charge of the closing stages. Despite some tight bowling by Walsh, West Indies' task had become hopeless. A crowd of 30,000 lit torches and firecrackers, and the smoke drifted through the floodlights as they celebrated a home victory.

Man of the Match: S. R. Tendulkar.

© John Wisden & Co