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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Kingston ODI: Birthday boy Roach takes West Indies past India

Kingston ODI: Birthday boy Roach takes West Indies past India

Last updated on: July 01, 2013 04:31 IST

Kemar Roach got himself a perfect birthday present as he guided the West Indies to a thrilling one-wicket win over India in a nail-biting encounter of the Celkon Mobile Cup Tri-Series in Kingston.

- Scorecard

Chasing a modest target of 230, the West Indies made heavy weather of the chase despite a sparkling knock of 97 by opener Johnson Charles, but finally registered their second win in the tournament with 14 balls to spare. 

With nine points from two matches, the hosts are in with a bright chance of making it to the final. 

Roach (14 not out) kept his cool as he flicked Umesh Yadav (3-43) towards square leg to bring up victory in a match where fortunes swung like a pendulum. 

Johnson CharlesThe foundation of the victory was laid by opener Charles, who faced 100 balls, hitting eight boundaries and four huge sixes. He added 116 runs for the fourth wicket with Darren Bravo (55) as victory didn't look out of sight. 

Credit to the Indian bowlers who made a fantastic comeback by effecting some quick breakthroughs before Roach finally sealed it for the hosts. 

At the start of the chase, the West Indies were in dire straits as they lost both Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels within the first five overs and were precariously placed at 26 for three. 

Yadav removed the opposition's best batsman Gayle (11) and followed it up with the wicket of Devon Smith (0) while Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled Samuels (1) to reduce the West Indies to 26 for three. 

Gayle was dismissed by a delivery from Umesh that rose awkwardly and hit the upper portion of his bat. The resultant catch was taken by Suresh Raina, stationed at short cover. 

In his next over, Yadav dismissed left-hander Smith with an inswinger while Samuels dragged one from Kumar back on to his stumps.

Opener Charles, however, batted positively. The first six scoring strokes were boundaries as he punished both Yadav and Kumar. With  minimum backlift and little footwork, Charles successfully hit through the line whenever it was slotted in his zone. He found an able ally in Bravo as the duo resurrected the innings.  

The 50-run partnership came off 70 balls. Bravo was slow initially but chanced his arms against Ravindra Jadeja, hitting the bowler over his head for a six. 

The duo batted sensibly as the 100 came up in the 22nd over and Charles completed a well-deserved half-century off 60 balls. To celebrate his 50, he gave Jadeja the charge and hit him into the stands. The 100 runs for the fourth wicket partnership came off 131 balls in the 26th over. 

With the pitch easing out a bit compared to first half, the West Indian pair didn't have any problems negotiating the Indian bowlers. Spin twins Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin weren't as effective as one expected them to be. 

A desperate Virat Kohli, leading the side in regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's absence, brought back Yadav for his second spell but Charles greeted him with one of the biggest sixes of the match. 

Finally, after a 116-run partnership, Bravo was gone for 55, trying to dispatch a half-tracker from Ashwin but only managing to find Shikhar Dhawan at short mid-wicket. 

The wicket rejuvenated the Indians as Ishant Sharma came back for his second spell and bowled a perfect length to induce an edge off rival captain Kieron Pollard, which was smartly taken by Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps.

From 142 for three, the West Indies suddenly were reduced to 155 for five. It soon became 161 for six as Ashwin, operating from round the wicket, pushed one which breached Denesh Ramdin's defence. 

Sammy announced his arrival with a huge six off Ishant and followed it up with a backfoot cover drive off Ashwin. If this wasn't enough, Sammy used Yadav's pace to hit him over deep square leg for a second six to bring down the required runs to below 50 with 15 overs still remaining. 

The former skipper scored a quickfire 29 off 25 balls before he was caught in the third man region off Ishant's bowling.

Earlier, the Indian batsmen battled on a difficult track as they scored 229 for seven in the stipulated 50 overs. Rohit Sharma (60) scored a composed half-century while Suresh Raina contributed a useful 44 after the 'Men In Blue' were put in to bat by West Indies' stand-in captain Pollard. 

Skipper Dhoni battled cramps that hampered his running between the wickets badly, yet he carried on manfully to chip in with 27 off 34 balls before he was cleaned up by a Tino Best inswinger. 

There were two notable partnerships in the Indian innings -- 59 for the third wicket between Sharma and Dinesh Karthik, and 58 for the fifth wicket between Raina and Dhoni. The Indian batsmen could manage only 17 boundaries apart from three sixes.

The mandatory batting Powerplay also yielded only 27 runs, which was testimony to the fact that the track wasn't conducive for ODI cricket. 

Sharma frittered away another opportunity to score big as he got out after a well-compiled 60 off 89 balls. Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli and Karthik didn't make significant contributions although Karthik was engaged in a half-century stand with Sharma. 

Sammy had a decent outing with the ball, claiming took two for 41 from his 10 overs. Roach also had identical figures of 2-41 from 10 overs. Best took 2-54 in 10. 

'Man of the moment' Dhawan pulled Best and then hit a crisp cover drive off Roach to get couple of boundaries. 

Sharma, whose performance has been much better since he started opening the innings started off with a six off Best -- a slash that flew over third man. 

However Roach had the last laugh when Dhawan (10) failed to check his uppish drive which the bowler caught on the second attempt.

Kohli (11, 21 balls) struggled to get going on a slow pitch before he tried an expansive drive off Sammy but Gayle, standing wide of first slip, took a fantastic one-handed catch diving to his right. 

For Karthik, it was an onerous task to rotate strike as Sammy was in the middle of a good spell where he kept things tight. With the ball not coming onto the bat, the two batsmen proceeded on a sedate note during the initial phase.