Jodhpur: Unheralded left-arm spinner Murali Kartik grabbed three quick wickets as India shot the West Indies out for 201 in the crucial sixth One-day International on Thursday.
Kartik's three for 36 off 10 tidy overs in only his fourth match enhanced his team's chances of squaring the series despite a fighting 58 by Shivnaraine Chanderpaul and a 29-ball 38 by skipper Carl Hooper. The spinner was supported by seamers Ajit Agarkar (3-24) and Sanjay Bangar (2-39), as the West Indies was bowled out in the 47th over. Kartik reversed the trend of high-scoring games with a disciplined spell on a slow turning wicket, dismissing in- form opener Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Ramnaresh Sarwan in his first six overs. The West Indies never recovered from these blows and was shot out for its lowest total in six matches after being sent to bat. Its previous lowest in the series was 280-3 in the second game at Nagpur. Kartik, who had taken just one wicket in his first three matches, got a prize scalp in his first over when he trapped Gayle leg before. Gayle, with three centuries in four matches, never looked at his best on a pitch where the ball did not come on to the bat. Kartik then bowled Samuels in his next over and Sarwan in the sixth to send the West Indies reeling at 74-4 in the 25th over. Fast bowlers Javagal Srinath and Agarkar kept pressure on the West Indies from the start, now allowing Gayle and Wavell Hinds to score freely. Hinds lost his wicket in sheer frustration after having scored just one off 28 balls, flicking Agarkar straight to Dinesh Mongia at deep mid-wicket. Chanderpaul and Ricardo Powell (29) then steadied the innings with a 61-run stand for the fifth wicket, but their efforts were just not enough to set India a stiff target.