Veterans script series-clinching win against Windies

Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Baroda:Team India veterans led by Sachin Tendulkar, who struck an emphatic century (41st in ODIs), helped India whip lacklustre West Indies by 160 runs to win the four-match series 3-1 here at IPCL sports complex today.

Tendulkar, the most successful batsman in one-day history, reached his hundred off the last ball of the innings as India piled up 341-3 and then bowled out the West Indians for 181 in 41.4 overs in Vadodara Wednesday.

Indian captain Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly also made merry of Windies attack with half-centuries after Lara elected to field in good batting conditions.

Marlon Samuels top-scored for the tourists with 55 and Denesh Ramdin made 40, but the remaining batsmen showed no signs of being able to chase down a stiff target of 6.8 runs an over.

The tourists were reduced to 83-5, including the unfortunate run out of captain Brian Lara, who backed up too far at the non-striker's end and was out after a Samuels straight drive deflected off the bowler on to the stumps.

Ajit Agarkar and Anil Kumble grabbed two wickets each to hand the West Indies a morale-sapping defeat in their final one-dayer before they host the World Cup starting in March.


Earlier, India had a flying start with opener Robin Uthappa smashing 28 off 17 balls in a first-wicket stand of 47 with Ganguly in 6.3 overs.

Indian captain Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly joined the run feast with half-centuries. Sourav Ganguly, who made a fairy tale comeback into Team India ODI fold with a blazing 98 in Nagpur, continued his good run hitting the Windies pacemen all round the park. His innings of 67 was studded with eight hits to the fence and one over it off Powell.

The former Indian captain had put on 101 for the second wicket with Dravid when he charged down the wicket against spinner Chris Gayle, missed the line and was easily stumped.

Dravid and Tendulkar continued the charge during a third-wicket stand of 118 off only 112 deliveries.

Dravid fell for 78 to set the stage for Tendulkar and Dhoni to send the tourists on a leather hunt.

Tendulkar, who was on 89 at the end of the 48th over, rotated the strike and also helped himself to two boundaries to reach his first one-day century since making 141 against the West Indies in Malaysia in September.

Tendulkar finished with an unbeaten 100 off 76 balls following a thrilling exhibition of power hitting by the hosts in the decisive match.

Mahendra Dhoni hit an unbeaten 40 off 20 balls to help Tendulkar put on a blistering 75 runs from the last 40 deliveries.

India, still searching for a suitable World Cup combination, recalled Irfan Pathan for his first match since he was sent home from the tour of South Africa last month due to poor form.

The all-rounder did not get a chance to bat and finished with one for 43 from seven overs with the ball.

India will play another four-match series against Sri Lanka at home next month before heading to the Caribbean on March 1.

Dada leads India again, albeit for two overs: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly returned to lead the team again, though briefly, during the fourth one-day international against the West Indies.

Ganguly assumed charge for two overs in the early part of the West Indian reply after captain Rahul Dravid went off the field to tend to a minor ankle injury.

With vice-captain Sachin Tendulkar also resting after scoring an unbeaten century Wednesday, it fell to the next senior man Ganguly to take over as captain.

Ganguly directed operations for some time before Tendulkar ended the brief moment of drama by emerging from the dressing room to take charge.

Ganguly, 34, was India's most successful captain with 21 Test wins when he was sacked in October 2005 following a public spat with coach Greg Chappell, the former Australian batting great.

The left-hander made a dramatic comeback to both the Test and one-day side over the last two months and is regarded as a certainty to play in the World Cup in the Caribbean in March-April.

ThatsCricket (with inputs from agencies)

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