Vadodara: V V S Laxman hit 71 to help India post a challenging 290 for eight in the fifth One-day International against the West Indies here on Monday.
The stylish batsman capitalised on a brisk 88-run stand between openers Virender Sehwag and Saurav Ganguly in a match reduced to 48-overs-a-side after a delayed start due to the dew-laden outfield. The top-order Indian batting flourished on the easy-paced wicket as Sehwag showed the way with 52 off 39 balls with the help of one six and nine fours. Skipper Ganguly nearly matched his hard-hitting partner with 53 off 56 deliveries as India dominated the rival attack after being sent in to bat. Sehwag launched a fierce onslaught on the West Indian bowling as he pulled part-time seamer Wavell Hinds for a six and then struck two fours in the same over. Ganguly smashed off spinner Carl Hooper for three fours in an over as India raced to 88 in less than 11 overs. Sehwag fell when he was caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-wicket while attempting a big hit off seamer Corey Collymore. Ganguly inside-edged a Hooper delivery on to his stumps just after reaching his half- century, but India continued to maintain an impressive run-rate through Laxman. Laxman batted steadily during his third half-century in five matches before driving left-arm fast bowler Pedro Collins straight to Hooper in the covers. Collins grabbed three late wickets in his second spell, but India still managed to score 67 in the last 10 overs as Sanjay Bangar struck a 20-ball 27. India made one change from the team that squared the seven-match series 2-2 at Ahmedabad on Friday, bringing in debutant seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji for Ashish Nehra. The West Indies was without its injured bowling spearhead Mervyn Dillon, who was replaced by Collymore. Ricardo Powell came in for spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo.
Hooper asks India to bat; Balaji in for Nehra
Thatscricket Special: West Indies Quest of India