India v West Indies, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 23, 2014

Bowlers give India easy win

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India 130 for 3 (Rohit 62*, Kohli 54) beat West Indies 129 for 7 (Gayle 34, Jadeja 3-48, Mishra 2-18, Bhuvneshwar 0-3) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

West Indies have been in Bangladesh for a week, but they still looked jetlagged in a bizarre innings of 129 for 7, which set up another comprehensive win for India, who were excellent with the ball. From the moment Bhuvneshwar Kumar surprised Dwayne Smith with a first over full of outswingers, West Indies sleepwalked through most of their innings, failing to make India pay for some sloppy fielding. India will be only mildly annoyed with that because of the stupendous work done by their bowlers.

Bhuvneshwar set the template with the most economical figures in Twenty20 internationals - 3-0-3-0, Shami kept the pressure up at the other end, R Ashwin bowled out pretty early to make sure that pressure pushed West Indies to the breaking point, and then Amit Mishra applied the coup de grâce with the wickets of Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo off successive deliveries.

Without taking away from how well India bowled, it was an incredibly passive effort from West Indies. Despite a generous helping of extras, West Indies were 46 for 1 after 10 overs, Chris Gayle's 34 off 33 was his slowest 30-or-more-ball knock, Dwayne Smith prodded and fumbled around for 11 off 29, and the rest crumbled under the pressure of needing more than 100 in the last 10 to even be competitive when the dew would come in. All this despite two dropped catches: Gayle on 0 and 19.

There was something special about India's bowling at the top, especially Bhuvneshwar. Every time he bowled full to Smith, he looked like he would get a wicket. In the lead-up to the match, Suresh Raina had spoken about how West Indies struggle to get the runs when the big sixes are not forthcoming. Darren Sammy said, okay stop us hitting the sixes. Only six sixes were hit in the innings, and the singles were miserably low.

When those sixes were hit, as Gayle did as soon as legspinner Mishra was introduced, it involved a huge risk. Be that as it may, when you are 24 after six overs, with your partner struggling to get bat on ball, you are under the pressure to take those risks. The first one brought Gayle a six, but Mishra's wrong'un next ball should have had him. Yuvraj Singh joined Ashwin as Gayle's benefactor, but an extended spell of disciplined bowling from Ashwin - overs 6, 8, 10 and 12 for 24 runs - made sure Gayle didn't benefit much at all.

With no bad balls on offer, both Gayle and Marlon Samuels were handcuffed. The two are the last pair you want in the middle when you are hoping for quick running because boundaries are not available. Quite a few twos were turned into ones before Gayle was run out not even trying to make it to the striker's end. Dhoni could have gone off and finished his media interviews and come back to take the bails off; Gayle would still have not made it. At 62 for 2 in 13 overs, with Samuels struggling, they may as well have finished the interviews then.

Mishra put paid to all hopes of a Colombo-final-like comeback with a sharp legbreak that provided his captain his 127th stumping in all international cricket. Nobody has more. Bravo was next beaten comprehensively by the googly, and the game was practically over.

Some indiscipline from India towards the end took West Indies to 129, and despite a poorly called lbw of Shikhar Dhawan, this wasn't going to challenge India. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma saw India through with calm half-centuries, even though a struggling Yuvraj Singh manufactured some late drama. The only thing missing on another satisfying night for India was a push for a big net run-rate boost. If they play like they have been playing, they might not even need to think of the net run-rate.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • android_user on March 25, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    India unfortunately will finish their last game against Australia on the 28th while the rest of the Teams finish theirs on the 30th. This gives them a clear advantage to tweak their performance to meet the target NRR just like Holland did against Ireland. Australia will be facing Bangladesh and the Aussies will believe they can dominate proceedings to manipulate the NRR. Even more interesting is the last game between two unpredictable teams i.e. Pakistan and West Indies and NRR may also come into play here where a win may simply not be good enough. India once again find themselves vulnerable to the NRR.

  • android_user on March 25, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    I am having this sinking feeling that the NRR is going to bite us in the back. Only wins against Australia and Bangladesh is going to guarantee us a spot in the SF.

  • android_user on March 25, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    this is very low score in t20 but India took more time than others

  • MohammedWasi on March 25, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    Indian team's net run rate should be higher. 7-8 runs short in the points table. Somebody from the ICC should be notified about this. We have had been kicked out before due to lesser run rate in the past.

  • spinkingKK on March 25, 2014, 0:10 GMT

    Why is this an easy win? I can only see India winning with 2 balls to spare. In my books, it is a tight finish. Having 10 wickets in hand or 2 wickets in hand is immaterial when there r only two balls left. This fixation over keeping wickets in hand was what caused this poor score for the West Indies. There's no excuse for wasting some 29 balls to score 11 in T20s. Dwyne Smith and others should have just thrown their wickets if they cant force the runrate. These guys will try to force the irrelevant runrate and lose their wickets if they were playing test matches. In T20s, they treat their wickets precious and prevent utilizing the full batting line-up.India's slow batting was excusable, because they knew their target. Still, there's a possibility they could regret this when there's three way tie between India/Pakistan/Australia and net runrate decides top two.

  • Mutukisna on March 24, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    It looked like two international teams with great reputations played an ICC T20 World Cup Match. It was the most boring match of this tournament so far. One does not have to think hard and conclude that one team had to win. It is a game of two, after all. And in all probability, one of these two teams will qualify for the semi final and the indications point out to an elimination then. Their brands of cricket will not succeed against the other big teams with so called smaller reputations!

  • VickGower on March 24, 2014, 22:14 GMT

    Yuvraj needs to spend a TON of time in the domestic circuit & rebuild his confidence which is, to put it mildly, shot. He is so out of it that he is flooring easy catches. He should make way for Rahane who could open with Dhawan. Rohit could come 1st or 2nd down. Needs to be done quickly before Yuvraj really hurts India. One could consider Stuart Binny instead of Rahane too. You get another bowling option.

  • OttawaRocks on March 24, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    After re-analyzing I'm now convinced that India only need to beat Australia to qualify for the semi-finals and they don't even have to worry about NRR. Why? If this occurs and if India also lose to BD then realistically India's NRR should remain competitive (BD may beat India but unlikely will crush them). If so, Australia will be out (incurring 2 losses) while one of Pak/WI will also be out since they still have to play each other (ensuring a 2 loss record for one of them). The next question is what will BD do? If BD win only 1 game against Pak/WI/Aus then India advances (BD becomes another 2 loss team). If BD wins their 3 remaining games then India advances (Pak/WI/Aus all become 2 loss teams). The only weird case is if BD wins 2 of their remaining games, i.e., a 3 way tie occurs. If true, we return to NRR but my belief is it will be hard for BD to pass India unless their NRR is sufficiently strong (unlikely). Thus, India's main obstacle is Aus with NRR less of a concern.

  • dummy4fb on March 24, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    @Anand Kumar. Why are you so negative with Rohit Sharma. The SA tour you are talking about, what is happening woth DeQuock now ? He scored 3 centuries in 3 ODIs in SA. Here in both matches he falied miserably. You are talking about Steyn-Rohit. You should remember it was Rohits first SA tour and just 4th test. Every batsman in the world always had tough time in SA. Remember Pujara in his first tour of SA. Gavaskar too had very poor English tour after his debue series 774 runs against WI. Gelespy too scored doubke century in BD. Can you compare Gelespy with Rahim or Tamim. Steyn is experienced & top workd class pace bowler in the wirkd today. He has every right to dusturb any newcomer like Rohit by passing comments. In the same inning Rohit in his short battle with Steyn, hit two marvelous boundries against Steyn. Though he not played big knock, he stood against Steyn in that inning. There are so many cases in past, so many batsmen faced such comments from senior opponent players.

  • dummy4fb on March 24, 2014, 17:02 GMT

    Sammy had said stop us from playing big shots, if you can, they didn't think how will they cope Indian Spinners if they get help from pitch by just playing big shots...Actually WI got Over-confident coming into this match, they dropped most of their wicket-taking bowlers, didn't change their style of batting, they just kept on hitting shots in the air in trying to show / prove their Domination, they were not willing to play Along the Ground, for that you need Skill of Timing.... Just kept on Swinging the Bat, You can't be in just one Frame of Mind all the time, you need to change your game & mindset according to situation...Today's match clearly showed, in any format taking Singles is the most important aspect of batting, In first 6-overs took only 2-3 singles out of 30-balls..They created so much pressure on themselves that were not able to comeback after that.. I must say Bhuvi was Brilliant in the initial overs..He set the momentum for India.....