Port of Spain, June 9: Every one of their matches these days seems to document the Windies woeful handling of spin-bowling. While experienced Indian off-break Harbhajan had them in knots during the first one-dayer of India's ongoing tour, a game in which he finished with figures of 3/32, now leggie Amit Mishra has turned into thier latest nemesis. The new-comer had a stellar match in the second ODI, ensnaring a career-best of 4/31.
The hosts were clearly on the run from Mishra's brand of tweaking. West Indies' opener Kirk Edwards was playing a smooth innings till Mishra caused his undoing with a sharp turner that pitched on leg-stump and angled across the right-hander, who had to play at it. End result: Edwards was induced into a fatal edge that flew into the gloves of the keeper and was on his way for 25 off 28 balls.
Nearly 30 overs later, the Windies, at 192/4, appeared to be on course for a total in excess of 250 when they ran into a destructive Mishra again. With the hard-hitting Kieron Pollard as the new man at the crease in the 42nd over, the Windies would have been fancying an all-out assault from the tall allrounder.
But even before he could wind up for such, Mishra nipped his plans in the bud. The leg-break bowled one that kept a tad bit straighter and rapped Pollard on the pads as the batsman was attempting an ambitious sweep. Pollard was adjudged lbw and was on his way for a duck.
But Mishra hadn't finished with business. Just two overs later, he had all but exposed the Windies' latter order's weakness to leg-breaks when he had Bravo caught at long off for 8. Just one ball later, Mishra beat Baught all-ends-up to castle him for 2. Thus, the leggie had severely pegged back the hosts, leaving them reeling at 197/7.
How ironic is it that a leg-spinner would get the better of them when the Windies have two such to practice against! Both Anthony Martin and Devendra Bishoo must be barraging the Windies batsman with leg-breaks in the nets. Either the time they're given must be increased or the bowlers will have to bowl more astutely. Either way, the Windies have been bamboozled and need to regain their senses quickly before they loose this home series as well.