Monday, May 10, 2010

Gayle blows India out

Vinode Mamchan : 10 May 2010

Sir Viv Richards in the Johnny Walker campaign says : “Go out there and be a champion!” Well, Chris Gayle did exactly that and the West Indies kept on walking in the ICC T20 World Cup tournament yesterday. The home team gave all mothers in the region a Mothers Day gift with a 14-run victory over India at Kensington Oval, that keeps the Caribbean men in the hunt for a semi-final place. Skipper Gayle took the bull by the horns and with his team under pressure after their loss to Sri Lanka, led from the front, in striking 98, to take his team to 169 for six off 20 overs. India in reply were restricted to 155 for nine. The West Indies now need to win their final Super Eights match against Australia tomorrow in St Lucia, to book a place in the semis.

India, the financial powerhouse in world cricket is almost now completely out of the World Cup and one banner aptly summed up the situation reading : “India hurry and pack, Pakistan will give you a ride home.” Chasing 170 runs for victory, the Indian openers went out with the Indian supporters chanting : “Jai Ho, Jai Ho” (meaning victory unto to you). However, they were quickly silenced as wickets started to tumble against penetrative bowling from the West Indies.

Sammy started the rout and at 81 for five, the game was as good as over. Once again, short-pitched bowling proved their undoing as the West Indies pacers revelled on a helpful pitch.
Suresh Raina threatened for a while with a 25-ball 32 and towards the end Mahendra Dhoni (29) and Yusuf Pathan (17) caused some anxious moments but the West Indies held their nerve to win. Just before the end Dwayne Bravo produced a world class piece of fielding to run out dangerman Dhoni with a direct throw from close to the long on boundary and this formalised the result. Earlier, Gayle’s measured assault on the Indian bowlers had the Pinji Men (snake charmers) in the Greenidge and Haynes Stand spell bound. The man from Reggae land was in the process of playing out an epic Bollywood drama. He went to the crease in the company of the man from the land of many waters Shivnarine Chanderpaul and they swept away any threat from the Indian bowlers.

After a watchful start because of the early moisture on the pitch, Gayle and Chanderpaul cut loose. Gayle was of course the more aggressive. Time and time again, he exercised those broad shoulders of his, to the extent that he slammed the biggest six of the tournament, recorded at 113 metres. He brought up his half century off just 40 deliveries. The openers posted 80 runs from 11.5 overs, before Chanderpaul left for 23 runs. Darren Sammy then came and crashed 19 off ten balls and Pollard an 11-ball cameo that realised 17 runs. Gayle, unbeaten on 97 in the final over, played one to deep mid-wicket and was run out going for a second run. His innings spanned 66 balls and included five shots that crashed into the advertising billboards and seven that went flying over for sixes. Whilst Gayle was batting the fans were off their seats and life was good, the beer tasted better, the weather was greater and West Indies cricket looked in fine fettle.