Bravo goes from zero to hero as Windies win

Published: Sunday, May 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kingston:In the twinkling of an eye, Dwayne Bravo was transformed from villain to hero, when he bowled Yuvraj Singh with the third last ball of the second One-day International at Sabina Park to hand West Indies a heart-stopping one-run victory.

West Indies bowled and fielded with purpose to successfully defend a modest target of 199 to level the five-match series at 1-1, after India had clinched Thursday's first ODI by five wickets with one ball to spare.

Expensive in his three previous overs, Bravo was entrusted with the final over of the Indian chase.

Tailender Munaf Patel stole a single to fine leg to bring Yuvraj into strike and left-hander hit successive boundaries - a top-edged cut over the head of diminutive keeper Carlton Baugh Jr. and a searing drive through cover.

Bravo later acknowledged that on the advice of Chris Gayle, he decided the next delivery would be a slower ball. It was simply too good for Yuvraj, whose 93 from 121 contained eight fours and one six and was the top score in the India innings.

The left-hander was completely bamboozled by the delivery and was left shattered when he heard the stumps rattle behind him.

As the West Indies erupted into massive celebrations, Yuvraj was a forlorn figure on his knees in the middle of the pitch, sobbing at his miscalculation.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, later named Man of the-Match, had been the hero of the West Indies innings.

He was left stranded agonisingly close to his third ODI hundred, a painstaking, undefeated 98, as India restricted West Indies 198 for nine from their allocation of 50 overs.

Sarwan faced 138 from balls, and struck seven fours and one six, after West Indies started disastrously losing their openers inside the first three overs and never recovered after being sent in to bat.

Wicketkeeper/batsman Carlton Baugh, Jr., scored 21 and was the only other West Indies batsman to pass 20. Irfan Pathan was India's most successful bowler with three wickets for 45 runs from nine overs.

Ajit Agarkar, with whom Pathan formed a lethal new ball pair, was the pick of the Indian bowlers and supported with two for 25 from 10 overs, and Ramesh Powar, returning a minor injury setback, collected two for 38 from 10 overs.

India then laboured to 60 for four in the 17th over, as the three West Indies fast bowlers Ian Bradshaw, Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor put them under early pressure.

Bradshaw ensured that Virender Sehwag's dry spell continued, when he had him caught at point for 12 in the sixth over, and had Rahul Dravid, a century maker in the first ODI, caught behind for 11 to leave India 37 for two in the 10th over.

India had not recovered from those two early blows, when Edwards struck to have Pathan caught at mid-on for 14 in the 14th over, and Taylor had Mohammed Kaif caught at mid-wicket for four in the 17th over to set India back further.

With little fanfare, Yuvraj and Raina steadied the ship for India. They played within their limitations, and continued to turn the strike over with well judged running between the wickets interspersed with boundaries.

Three wickets in the space of 22 balls put the monkey on India and left them jittery on 134 for seven.

Marlon Samuels was the unlikely West Indies hero, when he made the breakthrough and had Raina caught at long-off for 27 in the 36th over.

Taylor added the wicket of Mahendra Dhoni in the 38th over bowled for two off the inside edge, and Bradshaw caught and bowled Agarkar for two in the 39th over much to the delight of the crowd that half-filled the ground.

Ramesh Powar entered and added a crucial 43 for the eighth with Yuvraj, but he was caught at long-on for 12 off Marlon Samuels with India needing 21 with 3.3 overs remaining.

The plot thickened when Gayle caught and bowled Harbhajan Singh for one in the 49th over, leaving Yuvraj and Munaf to bring it home for the visitors. Following Thursday's match, India's coach Greg Chappell had said that West Indies had forgotten how to win, but fortunate for Brian Lara's side, they got their memories back in the nick of time.

The winning feeling had returned to West Indies from the time they batted and fortune favoured Sarwan on several occasions. Mahendra Dhoni mis-stumped him on 54 off Powar in the 38th over, and there were at least three other occasions when he came close to being run out.

Through it all, he remained steadfast, and continued to build his innings. He exploded in the 49th over, bowled by Pathan, to reach within striking distance of a hundred.

It came down to the last three balls of the innings, but the dismissal of Jerome Taylor caught behind off Agarkar off the penultimate ball did not help matters. Pathan and Agarkar had gained appreciable bounce and movement early from the pitch to put West Indies on the back-foot with sound line and length bowling to which the batsmen seemed clueless.

Agarkar made the breakthrough, when Chris Gayle, a century-maker in the first ODI, was caught behind for a duck with the fourth ball of the second over.

Runako Morton was then dubiously adjudged lbw to Pathan for one to the second ball of the next over which television replays suggested might have hit the batsman high and outside the off-stump.

In an eventful period, Lara, on 10, was dropped at second slip by Suresh Raina off Agarkar in the eighth over, and next over, India had an appeal for Lara run out ruled null and void in a comedy of errors.

Square leg umpire Billy Doctrove was not in his position, but had left the playing area to speak to the ground-staff about the sightscreen. This only offered temporary respite to West Indies and Lara in particular. Much to his consternation, the West Indies captain was caught at second slip for 14 when tried to steer a delivery from Pathan to third man.

West Indies found themselves in deeper hole, when Shivanarine Chanderpaul failed to keep down a cut and was caught at point off Harbhajan Singh for 10 to leave the home team on 43 for four in the 19th over.

Marlon Samuels came to the wicket and announced himself with an inside-out drive over cover for his only boundary. He added 60 for the fifth wicket with Sarwan to consolidate West Indies' position and was looking in fine touch. India captain Rahul Dravid played an ace when he introduced Yuvraj Singh's modest left-arm spin for the 35th over, and he claimed Samuels caught behind for 19 edging a back-foot drive to a delivery that bounced and turn.

Five balls later, Ramesh Powar increased the agony for West Indies, when he had Dwayne Bravo caught low down at mid wicket for a three-ball duck to leave the home team on 105 for six.

Baugh entered and played a cameo, hitting four boundaries from 17 balls, but he was caught at deep mid wicket off Powar in the 42nd over, and this time, there was to be a comeback story for West Indies.

The third ODI will be played next Tuesday at Warner Park in Basseterre, St. Kitts, which will be hosting its first ODI, and the series concludes next Friday and Sunday at Port of Spain's Queen's Park Oval.

The ODIs will be followed by a four-Test series with matches at St. John's, Gros Islet, Basseterre which will also stage a Test for the first time, and Kingston.

Scorecard of Match 2

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