Nagpur: Chris Gayle stunned a restive crowd as he hammered a robust 103 to power the West Indies to an exciting seven-wicket victory over India in the second One-day International on Saturday.
The 23-year-old opener smashed three sixes and eight fours in his 116-ball knock to help the West Indies surpass a big Indian total of 279 for nine with four balls to spare in a match reduced to 47-overs-a-side following crowd trouble. The Jamaican left-hander was involved in a 134-run stand for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels, who scored a solid 63-ball 52 for his second successive half-century. Shivnarine Chanderpaul struck an unbeaten 32-ball 39 with seven fours and Ramnaresh Sarwan a 40-ball 39 not out in a brisk 59-run stand for the unfinished fourth wicket to complete the job begun by Gayle. The West Indies now leads 2-0 in the seven-match series following its last-ball win in the opening match at Jamshedpur, which was also marred by disturbances from the stands. The match was reduced to 48-overs-a-side after a delayed start due to a damp outfield. One more over was then deducted after missile-throwing spectators held up play during the Indian innings. South African match referee Mike Proctor held on-field discussions with players and officials before deciding to reduce the game to 47 overs. "Gayle played an excellent knock. It's good our top-order batting clicked again. I hope the batsmen maintain their form in the remaining matches," West Indies skipper Carl Hooper said. Gayle also upstaged V V S Laxman, who slammed a stylish 99 to help India set a stiff target after early setbacks. Gayle used his feet remarkably well to punish Indian spinners, lofting Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble for three sixes. Gayle reached his second century in 54 One-dayers when he turned paceman Javagal Srinath to fine-leg for a brace in the 37th over, completing the second run off a misfield. "I thought we could defend a total of 280, but didn't bowl well. The West Indies played better than us. We'll have to improve our display in the last five matches to come back into their series," Indian captain Saurav Ganguly said. Laxman, who missed his second hundred in One-dayers by one run, held the innings together as he hit seven fours in his 110-ball knock before being stumped off part- time spinner Gayle. India was struggling at 20 for two after being put in to bat when Laxman added 128 for the third wicket with Ganguly (78) and 105 for the fifth with Rahul Dravid (51). Ganguly also completed 8,000 runs during his 99-ball knock to become the ninth- highest run-getter in One-day Internationals. Sachin Tendulkar leads with 11,544 runs, followed by Mohammed Azharuddin (9,378), Aravinda de Silva (8,803), Inzamam-ul-Haq (8,712), Desmond Haynes (8,648), Saeed Anwar (8,605), Mark Waugh (8,500) and Sanath Jayasuriya (8,182). Ganguly's onslaught eased the pressure after hard-hitting opener Virender Sehwag (1) and pinch-hitter Ajit Agarkar (6) had fallen cheaply, but his team still failed to defend a challenging total.
Indians falter at death, set Windies 280 to win
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