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India vs West Indies: India Reach Fighting Total Against Fiery West Indies

By on June 12, 2009

icc world twenty20 - yuvraj singh

20 overs India 153 for 7 (Yuvraj 67, Yusuf 31, Edwards 3-24, Bravo 4-38) v West Indies…

Under-tested India ran into a red-hot West Indies, were reeling from the pace and bounce of Fidel Edwards before Yuvraj Singh played another of his gems to take India to a fighting total. Just like against Australia earlier in the tournament, West Indies found the lively pitch to their liking. But unlike against Australia, their bowling was backed up by solid fielding, but for just one lapse. Ironically that dropped chance off Yuvraj Singh, when he was 32 off 27, could end up costing West Indies more than all the sloppy work against Australia did.

This time it was Jerome Taylor’s opening partner, Edwards, who put West Indies ahead. The tone, though, was set by Taylor in the first over, troubling Gautam Gambhir with the bouncers. Edwards took the cue and gave his Deaccan Chargers team-mate, Rohit Sharma, a bouncer first up, which the latter managed to pull for four. What does Edwards do? Bowl another short one that beats Rohit for pace and for bounce, and gets a top edge.

Out came Suresh Raina, as opposed to MS Dhoni who has been coming in at No. 3 so far, one suspects to make use of the Powerplay overs. It’s no secret that Raina has trouble with sharp bouncers, and both the bowlers tested him those. Taylor also pulled out the slower bouncer, a delivery he seems to have perfected. In the end, two overs later, Raina played back to a full delivery from Edwards and edged it to Denesh Ramdin. Still no Dhoni.

It was now time for the fielders to show up, as Lendl Simmons took a superb running-back-and-diving catch to send Gautam Gambhir back. It was a short delivery again, the first Gambhir faced from Dwayne Bravo. Twnety-nine for three in 4.2 overs.

Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni had no choice but to consolidate. After giving Edwards one more over, Chris Gayle took the opportunity to slip in a few cheap overs along with Kieron Pollard. The two bowled five overs, neither of them went for a boundary, and Dhoni, in particular, had trouble rotating the strike. When Gayle brought Bravo back, Dhoni went for an aerial cut shot first ball and found sweeper-cover, having scored 11 off 23. Two balls later Yuvraj cut for the first boundary in seven overs.

The key moment, though, came next ball – one that could decide the match. Yuvraj flicked Bravo to Andre Fletcher at deep square leg, but Fletcher lost the ball as he dived. India would have been 71 for 5 but for the drop. Yuvraj went about changing the game in the 14th over. Having played out three straight dot balls from Suleiman Benn, Yuvraj fell back upon his slog-sweep and it paid off, getting him a six. Bravo’s next over went for 16 as both Yuvraj and Yusuf Pthan got stuck into him.

The next two overs was all Yuvraj as India threatened to run away with the game. There was no need to be cute, as he hit cleanly into the leg side, and over it. Benn and Taylor were dismantled, and Edwrads was summoned to finish off what he started. Once again it was the bouncer that took Yuvraj out for a 43-ball 67, 35 coming in 16 balls since the drop. Yuvraj and Yusuf added 64 in 33 balls.

West Indies seemed to have taken control once again, but Harbhajan came out in the 20th over and smote three boundaries off the last three balls. Even after that surge India got only 23 off the last 14 balls.

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