Bangalore: Heavy rain set in when the West Indies was calling the tune in the Singapore Challenge Cup final against India today. At the time of interruption India was limping along at 149 for six in 38.2 overs. India opened the innings with Sachin Tendulkar and S. Ramesh.
Despite losing Ramesh in the seventh over--brilliantly caught by Perry off Reon King for 42 runs -- Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid looked all set to challenge this enthusiastic West Indian attack. But from 99 for one in 20 overs India tumbled to a miserable spot by the 39th over when rain drove the players back to the pavilion. Full marks for the West Indian bowlers and fielders. Skipper Brian Lara chose to bring back Walsh to bowl the 23rd over with an obvious intention to break the threatening partnership.
Walsh obliged by having Tendulkar (40 off 65 balls) caught by wicket keeper Ridley Jacobs. Only earlier he failed to accept a return catch from the India captain. Reon King, the most impressive bowler of this series struck a vital blow that removed Dravid. It was the result of a spectacular catch by Sherwin Campbell at covers. He dived to his left and took a powerful drive by Dravid.
That effort by Dravid would have certainly crossed the ropes but for Campbell's alacrity. King was delighted in his next over when Jacobs snapped up a diving catch (to his left) to send back Vinod Kamble. The score read a pathetic 111 for four in 26.2 overs.
Sourav Ganguly and Nikhil Chopra tried their best to repair the damage. But against an attack that was backed by smart fielding, the two batsmen could not do anything to accelerate the run-rate. And both left in quick succession. Paceman Mervyn Dillon came for his second spell and scooped up a simple return catch from Chopra (137 for five in 33.4). Five overs later Shivnarine Chanderpaul effected a marvellous run out to end Ganguly's gritty effort (23 off 44 balls). He dived to his left and stopped a lusty square-cut and showing admirable reflex-action, threw the ball to Jacobs to run Ganguly out.