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World Cup 2015: India defeat West Indies to reach quarterfinals

World Cup 2015: India defeat West Indies to reach quarterfinals

PERTH: India required a tough match going ahead in the World Cup. But they had not bargained for what they got against West Indies at the WACA on Friday. Scorecard | As it happened | Match in Pics After their bowlers had done a great job of restricting the rivals to a mere 182, they themselves had to battle hard to overhaul the tricky target. And not for the first time, they owed it to their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s composed batting, as they romped home with four wickets and 10.5 overs to spare. READ ALSO: It’s Blue that rules on Holi day On a fast and bouncy pitch, the Indian batsmen found the West Indies bowling too hot to handle and nearly surrendered the match. Losing seven wickets for 134 and only the tail as his company, skipper Dhoni (45 not out) bailed the team out with a courageous effort. He was cool as a cucumber even when he saw the batsmen depart to unnecessary, aggressive strokes at the other end. Full Coverage: ICC World Cup 2015 It required the calm and composed presence of R Ash win at the other end to prop Dhoni to play some lovely shots to quickly close in on the target. The upper cut he played off Andre Russell over the third man for a six had class written all over it. From there on, he got his rhythm and played some fine hooks and drives and picked the gaps to collect some quick runs. He took India home when he edged Marlon Samuels to the third man boundary for his third four. India, like New Zealand in Group A, are unbeaten, having won all four matches. They are in a strong position to top Group B as they travel to New Zealand to play their last two group matches against Ireland and Zimbabwe. Thereafter, they will return to Melbourne for the quarterfinal, where they will most likely be up against England on March 19. If India were able to restrict West Indies they owed it to man-of the-match Mohammed Shami, again the spearhead of the Indian attack after missing out on the UAE game due to an injury. He bowled a hostile opening spell which had the batsmen on the hop. So much so, Chris Gayle could not lay his bat on the deliveries which whizzed past. After Shami provided India an early breakthrough when he had Dwayne Smith caught behind, the West Indies received a big jolt when in-form Marlon Samuels was run out in a mix-up with Gayle. The flummoxed Gayle thereafter swung at every deliver and collected 21 with two fours and a six. But his brazen aggressive effort was never going to last and he holed out at deep mid-wicket off Shami. West Indies thereafter lost a spate of wickets and were down to 85 for seven. If they were able to post a total which gave them a bit of a handle, it was due to their skipper Jason Holder, who batting at number nine, posted the highest score in the match. Shami gets into attack mode: West Indies won the toss and elected to bat on a Perth wicket that promised bounce and carry, with the hope of making India chase a stiff target. However, their own top-order dwindled against the new-ball attack of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav and the men from the Caribbean were reduced to 7-85 by the 25th over. Things began to look bleak from there until skipper Jason Holder held one end to bring up a gritty half century. West Indies crawled to 182 all out in 44.2 overs. Taylor makes the ball talk at WACA: India allowed the West Indies tail to wag before beginning a chase that looked easy at start. However, West Indies pacers Jerome Taylor, Jason Holder and Kemar Roach came fast from each end to make the batsmen sweat on the helpful Perth track. India lost their first five wickets for just 107 runs and the chase, that looked easy at start, began to appear tricky with each passing over. It was then that skipper MS Dhoni, along with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja began resurrecting the innings. ‘Finisher’ MSD comes to India’s rescue: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored a match winning, unbeaten 45 off 56 balls inclusive of three fours and one six towards third man boundary to help India pull off a tricky chase. Jadeja contributed 13 runs off 21 balls and R Ashwin scored a valuable 16 off 32 balls towards the end of the innings as India managed to finish with a four-wicket win in the end. For the West Indies, a very impressive Jerome Taylor bagged 2-33 while Andre Russell claimed 2-43. 8: No. of successive wins for India so far in WC matches, four coming in this edition and four from the 2011 edition which they won. Three more matches to win if India want to lay their hands on the trophy again. 3: The number of World Cup matches played between India and the West Indies after 1983. The previous two occasions before Friday’s clash in Perth were the 1996 World Cup and the 2011 edition. West Indies have a 3-4 win loss record against India overall in World Cups. 9: Years and 20 matches have gone by without Chris Gayle getting a century against India in ODIs. Last time the big man scored one was in 2006. On Friday, he got 21 off 27 balls before losing his wicket to Shami. QUICKS & THE DUDS Bowlers restrict WI to a modest total to make India’s job easy INDIA STUDS MS Dhoni: He absorbs pressure like nobody else. On a lively Perth wicket, where most batsmen from either side tried too many shots, Dhoni’s shot selection was spot on. Yet again, he anchored the tricky chase when the Indian top and middle-order found wanting Mohd Shami: The Bengal pacer continued to be India’s strike bowler. Not only did he bowl tidily, but he also picked early wickets, including the prized scalp of

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dangerous Chris Gayle. Unlike in Tests, he used the short ball to good effect. DUDS Openers: It was a perfect opportunity for Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma to take their time as India weren’t chasing a big total. However, both were dismissed caught behind the wicket leaving India tottering early on. Rohit yet again played a loose shot outside the off stump, while Dhawan’s problem against the rising ball continued. WEST INDIES STUDS James Holder: There’s too much burden on the young shoulders of Jason Holder but he has often shown he is ready for it. First, he batted with purpose to make sure West Indies bowlers should have something to bowl at. Later, he bowled a tight line when Jerome Taylor was going through a brilliant spell. Jerome Taylor: Jerome Taylor just bowled in a manner West Indies expected him to after being bowled out for a below par score. Despite defending a lowish score, Taylor bowled his heart out and troubled all batsmen. He gave West Indies a chance after sending back the Indian openers early. DUDS Chris Gayle: Chris Gayle had scored three ODI centuries against India in a space of nine days in 2002. However, it’s been a struggle for the big man against India. He also had the chance to improve his record in Perth where he scored only 8 in three innings. However, the opener got out after getting his eye in when West Indies needed him to carry on. Denesh Ramdin: The West Indies wicketkeeper is one of the experienced players in this young side. After losing early wickets, West Indies needed him to stay and anchor the young middle order, especially when Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith and Marlon Samuels were back in the hut. However, he played an awful shot off the first ball he faced to leave his team in further trouble. Source: TOI

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