Hinds, Gayle blitz India; West Indies goes up 3-2

Published: Monday, November 18, 2002, 23:38 [IST]
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Vadodara: Chris Gayle hammered his third century in four matches to guide the West Indies to a five-wicket victory over India in the fifth One-day International on Monday. The 23-year-old opener scored 101 as the West Indies surpassed India's 290 for eight with seven balls to spare in a game reduced to 48-overs-a-side after a delayed start due to a dew-soaked outfield. The West Indies leads 3-2 in the seven-match series with the next match scheduled to be played in Jodhpur on Thursday. Gayle, who scored 103 in the second match at Nagpur and 140 in the fourth at Ahmedabad, was not the only player to make merry on a batting wicket. Fellow-opener Wavell Hinds smashed an entertaining 61-ball 80 with five sixes and 10 fours to put the West Indies on the right track. "We showed a lot of character today. I thought 290 was gettable on this wicket. Chris and Wavell batted well to set up the win for us. We hope to clinch the series with a win in the next game," West Indies captain Carl Hooper said. Spinners Harbhajan Singh and Murali Karthik sustained India's hopes of defending a big total with their tidy spells before Gayle took the match away from the hosts with his bold and clean hitting. India tried as many as nine bowlers, but none could put pressure on Gayle and Hinds who added 132 for the opening wicket in 16.2 overs. "I think we should have defended such a big total," India skipper Saurav Ganguly said. "But the West Indies played very well and we gave away too many runs in early overs. There are still two more matches to go and it is anybody's series." Seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji made a forgettable debut as he went for 35 in his opening three overs before being replaced with off spinner Harbhajan Singh. Harbhajan nearly brought India back into the match when he ran out Shivnarine Chanderpaul and had Gayle caught behind in the same over. Karthik got his maiden one-day wicket when he had Ramnaresh Sarwan caught by Ganguly, but not before the batsman had put on 83 for the third wicket with Gayle. Gayle hit three sixes and 10 fours in his 107-ball knock to put his team in a winning position. Ricardo Powell then struck an unbeaten 30 off 26 balls and Hooper run-a-ball 21 to complete the job. Bowlers were at the receiving end in the first session also as V V S Laxman hit 71 to help India post a challenging total. The stylish batsman capitalised on a brisk 88-run stand between openers Virender Sehwag and Ganguly. Sehwag showed the way with 52 off 39 balls with the help of one six and nine fours, while Ganguly nearly matched his hard-hitting partner with 53 off 56 deliveries as India dominated the rival attack.

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