It was the last match pre-Quarterfinals for both teams in Group B – India and West Indies. India, South Africa, and England are already confirmed for the Quarter Finals. It would be either Bangladesh or West Indies depending on the outcome of this match’s result. India so far had played 5 matches, won 3, tied 1 and lost 1 having 7 points. West Indies too had played 5 matches–won 3 and lost 2, having 6 points.
It was a day night match to be played at MA Chidambram Stadium, Chennai, India. India won the toss and decided to bat first. There were two changes for India: injured Virender Sehwag was rested due to a knee problem and Suresh Raina was taken in his place; and in bowling section Ashish Nehra was rested to give a chance to R Ashwin for the first time in this WC 2011.
Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir opened that bat. Tendulkar was soon back to the pavilion but on his own. A ball from debutant Ravi Rampaul..Virat Kohli came in place of Tendulkar. Soon Gambhir too followed Tendulkar by lofting a catch at boundary in the hands of fielder deputed there. Rampaul had two wickets in his pocket by then. Yuvraj Singh joined in Kohli to drive Indian innings further. In first power play India had lost both its openers. Virat was the captain of Under-19 World Cup winner team. Lefthander allrounder Yuvraj is a player of precision, grit, and power.
Average that was above 6 per over went down to around 5.5 after the exit of Tendulkar and Gambhir. Yuvraj got dropped twice – one by Sammy when he was fielding and second by Sammy again on his own bowling.
By 19th over, average had gone down further and was just near to 5. At the end of 20 overs India were 97 for loss of two wickets with Kohli playing at 37 in 49 balls and Yuvraj at 26 made in 43 balls. 228th six of WC and first of Indian innings by Yuvraj came in 21st over being thrown by Sammy. First half century partnership of Indian innings between Yuvraj and Kohli came in 73 balls.
Yuvraj’s 4th half century of this World Cup Tournament came in 26th over made in 61 balls. It was his 49th ODI century. Kohli followed Yuvraj and made his half century in 66 balls in 28th over of the innings. Kohli got out after making his half century. Captain Dhoni couldn’t do much and got out early.
Yuvraj completed his first WC century in 41st century but got out at 113. After that pinch hitter Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, and Zaheer Khan also did not stay long and Indian team finally got all out on the first ball of last over at 268.
Ravi Rampaul gave his best performance by grabbing five wickets. West Indies had to make 269 to win this game.
The winner of this game would be playing against Australia in Quarter Finals. Indian bowling was not at all impressive right since the beginning of West Indies innings and so was their fielding. Dhoni tried almost all of his regular and part time bowlers but none of them could put any pressure on West Indies. Davon Smith’s good innings of 81 runs gave a solid support and direction to their innings.
It was only after 30 overs when India started displaying some impressive and effective bowling and fielding when required run rate crossed 6. After exit of Kieron Pollard at a single digit score of 1, West Indies was in trouble for the first time at their score of 157 for loss of 4 wickets. West Indies needed 112 runs from 107 balls.
And after this there was no going back for India. A match that was looking as difficult for India to win was taken back from West Indies’ grips. In last 50 balls, West Indies required 83 runs with only one wicket in hand.
Finally, India won by 80 runs and will meet Australia in the Quarter Finals on Thursday. Zaheer took 3 wickets while Yuvraj and Ashwin took 2 wickets each.