Toronto Series : West Indies Earn an Incredible Win

Published: Monday, September 13, 1999, 5:30 [IST]
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Defending a small total of 190 runs, the West Indians bowled and fielded magnificently to level the three-match Series against India at 1-1 on Sunday. Batsmen generally danced to the tune of the bowlers in this second match of the DMC Toronto Cricket Festival. And the Indians succumbed to the enormous pressure applied by Brian Lara and his men who won by 70 runs with eight overs to spare. For the second successive day, the Indian bowlers, astutely led by Sourav Ganguly, exposed the limitations of the West Indian batsmen. India, after losing the toss, restricted West Indies for 190 for six in the allotted 50 overs.

Brian Lara must have been a disappointed man as his batsmen failed to show the needed temperament and technique to deal with a set of intelligent and enthusiastic bowlers. But in the end his bowlers and fielders did what he would have expected them to do. Sherwin Campbell (59 in 85 balls with eight fours) and Ridley Jacobs (11) put on 43 runs for the first wickets by the 10th over. But thereafter India took command and never allowed the rival batting line-up to take any liberties. There were two promising spells during this innings that showed signs for a recovery-act. But both lasted for only a brief period. First Lara and Campbell added 30 runs in nine overs for the fourth wicket before Campbell (who made 62 on Saturday) was trapped leg before by Sunil Joshi.

Later Jimmy Adams and Lara 28 runs for the sixth before Ganguly forced Lara into error. Wicket keeper MSK Prasad dived to his left and took a spectacular left-handed catch. Lara made 34 off 63 balls with five fours. In between these two wickets, West Indies lost their Singapore Hero Ricardo Powell (126 for five). Prasad off Ganguly caught Powell behind the wicket. D.Harper, the umpire, declared him out. The TV replays clearly revealed that Powell did not touch the ball at all. Powell's dismissal came as a severe blow for the West Indies. This most glamourous batsman since the Singapore meet had hoisted a huge six off Ganguly only of the previous ball today.

And once Lara too left (154 for six in 40.5 overs) the West Indies's chances of crossing even the 200 mark looked bleak. Though Adams and Mervyn Dillon, the next pair, played out the remaining overs, West Indies' ambition of reaching 200-plus did not realise. Ganguly (9-1-37-3) did a remarkable job both as a bowler and as a skipper today also. India began its chase on a disastrous note. S.Ramesh, MSK Prasad and Sourav Ganguly were back in the pavilion with the score reading just seven runs in 6.2 overs. Prasad was beaten by a spectacular direct hit by Lara while Ganguly was stunned by a superb catch at point by a Chanderpaul who dived to his right and plucked the ball inches from the ground. Powell off King consumed earlier Ramesh in the slip.

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