Jodhpur: India survived a dramatic mid-innings collapse to post a series-levelling three-wicket victory over the West Indies in the crucial sixth One-day International on Thursday.India, chasing 202 to win, was strongly placed at 147 for three before slipping to 148 for six in the space of 11 deliveries in a major slide engineered by fast bowlers Vasbert Drakes and Corey Collymore.Sanjay Bangar (32 not out) then held his nerve under pressure to help India win with 22 balls to spare. The seventh and decisive One-dayer will be held at Vijaywada on Sunday.India was indebted to unheralded left-arm spinner Murali Kartik for restricting its opponents. Kartik finished with three for 36 off 10 overs for his best effort in four matches."We had our backs to the wall, but the boys responded well," said stand-in India captain Rahul Dravid. "Our bowlers, especially spinners, did a good job by restricting them to 201. That was the key and then Bangar kept his nerve in a tight situation to see us home."The West Indies did not give up easily and had a chance to put more pressure on India, but Ricardo Powell dropped Bangar at mid-off off part-time spinner Marlon Samuels when the total was 169.Bangar went on to add 39 with Mohammad Kaif for the seventh wicket, which proved vital in the first low-scoring match of the series. "It was criminal not to last 50 overs," said West Indies skipper Carl Hooper whose team was bundled out in the 47th over after being put in to bat."I think 15-20 more runs would have made a difference because the pitch was slow and the bounce was a bit inconsistent." Drakes (three for 38), Collymore (two for 42) and Pedro Collins (two for 38) kept the West Indies' hopes alive of defending a modest total despite half-centuries from Dravid (58) and Yuvraj Singh (54).Drakes did the early damage when he removed hard-hitting openers Dinesh Mongia and Virender Sehwag in his impressive opening spell, while Collymore dismissed Yuvraj and Reetinder Sodhi to put his team back into the game.Dravid and Yuvraj applied themselves well on a low, slow wicket where the ball did not come on to the bat. They put on 99 for the fourth wicket after the hosts had been reduced to 48 for three.Bowlers made merry for the first time in the series as Kartik played a key role in reversing the trend of high-scoring matches with a disciplined spell. He was well supported by seamers Ajit Agarkar (three for 24) and Bangar (two for 39).Shivnaraine Chanderpaul scored a fighting 58 and Hooper a 29-ball 38, but their team's total was still the lowest in six matches. Their previous lowest in the series was 280 for three in the second match at Nagpur.Kartik began it when he dismissed in-form opener Chris Gayle, Samuels and Ramnaresh Sarwan in his first six overs to send the tourists reeling at 74 for four.Chanderpaul and Powell (29) shared a 61-run stand for the fifth wicket, but their efforts were just not enough to set India a stiff target. Ajit Agarkar was declared man-of-the-match for his three wicket haul.
Copyright AFP 2001
Topics: cricket, jodhpur, west indies, vasbert drakes, corey collymore, sanjay bangar, vijaywada, murali kartik, rahul dravid, ricardo powell, marlon samuels, mohammad kaif, west indies skipper carl hooper, pedro collins, yuvraj singh, dinesh mongia, virender sehwag, reetinder sodhi, ajit agarkar, shivnaraine chanderpaul, chris gayle, ramnaresh sarwan specials, specials news, specials 2002