Rain, once again, made a mockery of the 50-over International One-Day cricket match in Singapore. The India --Zimbabwe game on Saturday (Sept 4) was reduced to a 30-over affair and India won handsomely. Today the last league match between India and the West Indies too met with a similar fate as only 30 overs each side was possible. And the West Indies won by 42 runs.
The crowd in Singapore might have been thrilled at the fact that some cricket was possible on Sunday. But most die-hard cricket lovers must be terribly frustrated at seeing International matches are being reduced to such an "exhibition-match" status. Today, in fact, it was only an exhibition match as India and the West Indies had already entered the final that would be played on Tuesday.
India captain Sachin Tendulkar chose to skip this match. Ajay Jadeja did not recover from the leg-injury and did not play today. And so Sourav Ganguly led the side. West Indies won the toss and batted first. West Indies who experimented with its batting line-up lost wickets at quick intervals and was on 84 for five by the 19th over. Brian Lara the West India captain Joined Ricardo Powell at this juncture and the crowd were treated to some grand batting exhibition. Powell and Lara got into an attacking mood and added 61 runs in just five overs before Prasad off Chopra stumped Powell (46 in 44 balls, 4x4, 1x6)).
Soon Lara (60 off 43 balls 5x6, 2x4)) too left. But by that time the West Indies' run-rate was highly impressive (in the range of six and seven per over). And the West Indies finished its quota of 30 overs with a total of 196 for seven. The West Indies innings earlier had begun on a strange note with opener Ridley Jacobs hoisting a catch to Chopra off the very first ball from Mohanty.
And the Indian innings got off to almost a similar start with Ramesh getting out, caught Perry bowled King with the score board showing just five runs. India did recover gamely from that loss thanks to some gritty show by Sourav Ganguly (32) and Rahul Dravid (39) who added 73 runs by the 21st over. Ganguly was out in an odd fashion. A swinging ball beat him and wicket keeper Jacobs collected it neatly. Seeing Ganguly out of the crease, Jacobs, in a trice, broke the stumps with a crisp fling. The third umpire was consulted and Ganguly was declared out. That was the beginning of the end.. Soon wickets tumbled and India could not go beyond 154 for eight in 30 overs.