India made a hash of a 25-over effort at Port of Spain (Queen's Park Oval) to hand West Indies a comfortable 124-run target in the crucial second encounter of a three- match series (first two washed to due to rain).
West Indies, then, comfortably chased the target with seven wickets to spare. The architect of the West Indies chase was a stupendous knock from Chris Gayle (84 off 67 balls). Having to chase a moderate 124, West Indies clobbered the Indian attack -after initially being watchful. Tinu Yohannan soon woke up to the reality of what international cricket is all about when Gayle launched into him, picking him off for a whopping 25 runs of one particular over. Gayle was in prime form hitting the ball off the meat of the bat. With no pressure behind his back and having taken a little time to set his eye in, Gayle launched into a flurry of shots to snuff off any hope that the Indians might have nurtured about making early inroads. Supporting Gayle with some sensible batting at the other end was Wavell Hinds - chipping in with his effort from time to time. Once the fifty was up there was no stopping Gayle who went from strength to strength - virtually clobbering the Indians all around the park. It was a carnival time for the spectators who were treated to firecracker stuff over after over. It was all Gayle all the way, who swept the ground with a torrent of strokes and left most of them aghast in wonder. The partnership was eventually broken with West Indies just seven runs adrift. Hinds (30), looking to finish things off, perished when he was bowled off Yohannan. Gayle then followed his partner back into he pavilion when he skied Zaheer Khan for a 'Gale' of an innings - 84 of 66 deliveries. West Indies 117 for two. West Indies lost one more wicket in its pursuit of finishing off the match in a hurry as rain threatened to rob West Indies of a victory. Sarwan was bowled off Yohannan to give him two wickets off two balls. However, the rain never came and West Indies took their time to knock off the remaining six runs and canter home to a comprehensive win. Earlier, the decision to bat first being made before the rain came down meant that India had to bat first, when normally it is preferred to chase in a reduced match. Even so, India could have done better than that. It was an effort that displayed a lot of immaturity with most batmen throwing their bats. It seemed like they were reaching for the skies - trying to set a target of close to 200. Sehwag was out to the very first ball of the match trying to loft Dillon over long on. Ganguly and Mongia then raced along at a fair clip but once Mongia departed things fell apart for India. Apart from Ganguly (39) and Dravid (28), to extent, every other batsman came a cropper. The so famed young talent folded up under the first instance of some major pressure, reinstating the belief that youth needs to be eased into the side in smaller proportions rather than going for a wholesale change. In times of adversity it is the experience that holds good and India clearly was in short supply of it - new comers Sehwag, Yuvraj, Kaif and Mongia all leaving India high and dry. Man-of-the-match: Chris Gayle
Scorecard of Match 4