|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Maharoof flattens Windies
Harish Kotian in Mumbai | October 14, 2006 18:25 IST
Last Updated: October 14, 2006 19:26 IST
Ferveez Maharoof produced an inspired spell of pace bowling as Sri Lanka crushed the West Indies by nine wickets in the sixth and final qualifying match of the ICC Champions Trophy at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
The 22-year-old fast bowler took six wickets for 14 runs, his first five-wicket haul in One-Day Internationals, as the West Indies were bowled out for a lowly 80 in just 30.4 overs after electing to bat.
In reply, Sri Lanka chased down the target in 13.2 overs for the loss of Upul Tharanaga, who was bowled off the first ball of the innings.
Sanath Jayasuriya wasted no time in getting the runs, scoring a quick 45 off 47 balls, including nine boundaries. He was involved in an unbroken stand of 83 with captain Mahela Jayawardene, who was unbeaten on 34 from 35 balls, inclusive of seven boundaries, as Sri Lanka cruised to victory.
Earlier, Maharoof destroyed the West Indies with his disciplined line and length. His figures of 6 for 14 are the best-ever in the ICC Champions Trophy, while the West Indies' total of 80 is the third lowest in the tournament's history.
West Indies innings:
Chaminda Vaas got Sri Lanka off to a flying start, getting the wicket of the dangerous Chris Gayle, caught behind for 0, in the first over of the innings. The West Indies were then dealt another big blow in the form of Ramnaresh Sarwan, who was trapped plumb leg before wicket by Vaas without scoring.
It was all going wrong for the defending champions, as they lost yet another wicket, that of Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Lasith Malinga (8) got one to pitch on off-stump and move away a bit; it took the edge of the left-hander's bat to the wicketkeeper, to leave the Windies at 13 for 3 in the fourth over.
Captain Brian Lara and Wavell Hinds tried to resurrect things, playing the seamers with utmost caution. But they could only add 38 for the fourth wicket before Lara fell leg before wicket to Fervez Maharoof.
The West Indies captain scored a painstaking 13 off 35 balls, inclusive of two boundaries, before he departed and left the West Indies reeling at 51 for 4 in the 15th over.
Dwayne Bravo then played an irresponsible shot; trying to flick Maharoof through the off-side, he missed the ball completely and was trapped leg before wicket for 0. Things were going from bad to worse for the defending champions, as they slipped to 55 for 5 in the 17th over.
Maharoof was unstoppable; he bagged another two wickets in the 21st over.
First Marlon Samuels dragged the ball on to his stumps for 1 as he tried to play on the off-side. Dwayne Smith thought counter attack was the best option to get his team out of the rut, but even that didn't work.
Maybe it could be argued that he could have played sensibly instead of lofting the ball straight to the mid-on fielder in a bid to clear him. But he always plays attacking cricket and didn't change his game plan and left the West Indies facing a rout at 58 for 7, just two deliveries after the previous wicket of Samuels.
Maharoof completed his five-wicket haul, his first in ODIs, in the 25th over with the wicket of Carlton Baugh Jr, who fell leg before wicket as he played down the wrong line. (64-8, 24.5)
The very next ball he bowled Fidel Edwards with a perfect yorker, but to his dismay he had overstepped the line.
Wavell Hinds tried to stage a rescue act, but found little support from the other end as wickets kept tumbling. He scored 28 from 86 balls (3 boundaries) before he was caught by Sanath Jayasuriya in the covers to give Maharoof his sixth wicket.
Maharoof's first spell read 6 for 14 in 9 overs, including two maidens. It is the best-ever bowling figure in the ICC Champions Trophy, beating Shahid Afridi's 5 for 11 against Kenya in the 2004 edition.
Malinga put the final nail in the Windies' coffin -- a fast, swinging Yorker to bowl last man Fidel Edwards.
The West Indies were bowled out for a paltry 80, their lowest score in one-dayers against Sri Lanka. It is also the third lowest score in the history of the tournament behind the United States' 65 all out versus Australia in 2004 and Bangladesh's 77 against New Zealand in 2002-03.
Maharoof's inspired spell of disciplined line and length bowling should serve as an inspiration to the West Indies pace bowlers. However, making their task difficult is that they have a very small total to defend, and against a strong batting side like Sri Lanka, it looks way too less.
Also, the pitch holds no demons; it is just that the Windies batsmen failed to apply themselves. Except for Hinds (28) and Lara (13) no other batsmen got double figures; four batsmen could not even open their account.
Maharoof stole the show with a haul of 6 for 14, while Vaas underlined his authority early on with a tight spell, claiming 2 for 6 in his six overs.
Sri Lanka innings:
A lowly target of 81 is hardly defendable, but the West Indies made a brave start in their bid.
In-form opener Upul Tharanga was bowled off the first delivery of the innings by Fidel Edwards. The left-hander, who scored centuries in his last two matches in the qualifiers, played a tentative shot outside the off-stump and the inside edge dragged onto his stumps.
Edwards ran wild in celebration, almost all the way to the fine leg fielder. The West Indies seemed determined to make a match out of it, but the question was, could they do it?
Sanath Jayasuriya played in his customary attacking style, smashing the loose deliveries at will, while at times even the good ones disappeared.
Mahela Jayawardene, coming at No 3, also looked solid as Sri Lanka maintained a steady run-rate.
They cruised to 66 for 1 in 12 overs, needing another 15 runs, when it was time for the innings break. As the sparse gathering at the Brabourne started booing, common sense prevailed and the players and umpires decided to carry on with the match. It would have been unfair to keep the
crowd, television viewers and everyone concerned waiting for another 45 minutes, while victory was just a whisker away for the Lankans.
Jayasuriya seemed hungry, smashing a couple of boundaries through the off-side off Dwayne Smith in the 13th over. Mahela Jayawardene finished off things in the next over, hitting two consecutive boundaries off Samuels as Sri Lanka cruised to the victory target in just 13.2 overs.
Sanath Jayasuriya was unbeaten on a quick 45 off 47 balls, including nine boundaries. He was involved in an unbroken stand of 83 with captain Mahela Jayawardene, who was unbeaten on 34 from 35 balls, with seven boundaries.
It was a comprehensive showing from Sri Lanka as they never let the Windies back in the game after claiming those early wickets. Even while batting, they played their natural attacking game and never looked to take it easy.
Sri Lanka are now unbeaten in their last 11 matches and on the form they showed today, they could well extend that run. It is quite clear that there is more to come from the islanders, who just relish playing in sub-continental conditions.
Sri Lanka qualified for the main draw of the tournament as winners of the qualifying round and will be pitted along with New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa in Group B.
The West Indies are drawn in Group A, with world champions Australia, hosts India and England. It could well be the start of a tough journey ahead for them.
Would you like to join the Cricket and Cricket Lovers Discussion Group and discuss your cricket views with other cricket freaks? Click here. Have fun!