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A tale of two hundreds

There were two lead stars in the first one-day international between India and West Indies and once their roles ended the plots unravelled fast, and how. Chris Gayle got West Indies off to a screaming start but he also played the anchoring role as batsmen came and went around him. His dismissal, on 222 for 4, stalled the run-rate and West Indies managed to add only 29 runs off the last 31 balls of the innings. Chasing 252 for victory, India always looked like winning while Dravid was batting. After his dismissal, Kaif, whose discomfiture was perhaps hidden by Dravid's efficiency, struggled and if not for some lucky edges and inept fielding, India could so easily have lost the game. The following graphic shows the dot balls each batsmen played as a percentage of the total balls faced, and the boundaries, and ones and twos, each batsmen scored as a percentage of their total runs.

A comparison of the two hundreds reveals how differently they were made. Gayle's first 20 balls yielded 7 runs before he broke free and hammered 33 runs off his next 14. He took 70 balls, tied down in periods by Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan, to move from 52 to 100 but made up for the lull by some frantic hitting before his dismissal.

Dravid, on the other hand, began steadily - his first 26 runs coming off 30 balls. He brought up his fifty off 59 balls and then stepped on the gas, scoring his next fifty in just 40 balls. The major difference between the hundreds was that Gayle played out 83 dot balls while Dravid played 43. Gayle's boundary tally of 20 exceeds Dravid's by eight, a clear indication that Dravid kept the score ticking over consistently through ones and twos, thereby never allowing the pressure to build up - the key to a successful run-chase.