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Monday, March 19, 2012

Two wins : India and West Indies

Two different wins – both by chasing teams – both heavy at odds in some manner but comparisons stop there. One was between traditional arch-rivals; the other between bloated performers vs team that is finding fighting hard to raise from its nadir !

Just a month ago, in the IPL Auctions, he was hot – Sunil Naraine, not known to many  was bought by Kolkatta Knight Raiders at $700000. (Rs.3.40 crore)  from a base price of $ 50000 (24 lakhs) – he is not stranger to India, the off spinner made his debut at Motera and sort of engineered a collapse -  Ahmedabad has been a happy hunting ground for WI and they won their 5th in seven encounters.  That was largely due to mad hitting by Darren Sammy and Andre Russell adding 79 off 34 balls in the end.  India's 11-match winning streak in home ODIs came to an end with the 16-run defeat.

Last October  in the Champions League at Chepauk, it was a low scoring match and Trinidad & Tobago struggled to put bat to ball – they ended up setting up a small target of 124 eminently gettable for the line-up that CSK boasted of.   CSK ended 11 short  - It was a great display of  off spin bowling by Naraine and the choking of CSK.    Sunil Narine's figures were  4-0-8-3.
First at Mirpur, it was the Indian attack which had struggled to  defend  289 against Bangladesh but our batting proved different chasing a historic 330.   Even after the epic knock of Virat Kohli,  India’s passage is not guaranteed as Bangla beating Lanka will deny India the ticket – though the points would be equal, the rules of the tournament state that - in the event of teams finishing on equal points, the right to play in the final match or series will be determined as follows:
•           The team with the most number of wins
•           If still equal, the team with the most number of wins over the other team(s) who are equal on points and have the same number of wins
•           If still equal, the team with the highest number of bonus points
•           If still equal, the team with the highest net run rate
The chase of 321 in 36.4 at Hobart was reminisced but this was a different attack and Indians had been to an inauspicious start losing Gambhir to Hafeez of the second ball of the innings without scoring.   The mammoth chase was made historic by the career best knock of 183 by Virat Kohli – Kohli has 11 hundreds now.   He had 23 boundaries in his knock.   The vintage shot of Sachin a  glide over the keeper off Cheema for a six set the tone. 
Kohli’s 11th ton is his 7th in chases and he is next only to Tendulkar.  Ganguly, Dhoni, and Kohli have all made this score of 183.  this chase is India’s highest in ODIs thus far overtaking the 326 at Natwest at Lords of 2002.  Rohit Sharma came good at last making a 50 in 9 innings. 
At Kingstown, St Vincent, Australians were defeated and West Indies tasted a win after 2006.  sunil Naraine bowled well taking 4 for 27 off his 8 as Australians struggled to reach 154 for 9 in 40 overs.  West Indies had a revised target of 158 and romped home with 10 balls to spare.  Kieron Pollard made a blistering 47 with 4 sixers.  WI recovered from a perilous 74/4 to a win guided by Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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