Dogged Sharma earns India thrilling one-wicket win

Thursday, 1 December 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: A patient 72 from Rohit Sharma helped India to a tense one-wicket victory over West Indies in a low-scoring first one-day international at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Tuesday.

India’s last wicket pair of Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav added 12 runs to take India past their target with seven balls to spare.

Man-of-the-match Sharma struck three boundaries and a six to launch India’s fightback after the hosts were reduced to 59-5 chasing a 212-run target for victory.

He added 83 for the sixth wicket with left-hander Ravindra Jadeja (38) and another 42 runs for the eighth wicket with tailender R. Vinay Kumar (18) to anchor India’s chase.

Sharma and Kumar fell in successive overs with the score on 201 and India still needed 11 runs to win with just one wicket in hand. The hosts survived some tense moments before Yadav hit a boundary to take his team home.

West Indies pacemen Kemar Roach (3-46) and Andre Russell (2-29) extracted good pace and bounce off the pitch and picked up the first five wickets to fall within the 12th over of the Indian innings.

But the West Indies’ bowlers failed to make further quick inroads and were also guilty of giving away 23 extra runs, which proved crucial in the low-scoring match.

Earlier, India’s pace trio of Kumar, Yadav and Aaron struck three times in the first 10 overs to reduce the tourists to 52 for three, from which they never recovered. The visitors finished on 211-9 in their 50 overs, after put in to bat first. Darren Bravo (60), the most consistent batsman for West Indies during the 2-0 test-series loss, continued his good form and added 75 for the fourth wicket with Danza Hyatt (31).

Hyatt’s run out, just after he started scoring freely, and Bravo’s dismissal to part-time off-spinner Suresh Raina robbed West Indies of any momentums.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was adjudged player of the series during the test matches, conceded only 30 runs off his 10 overs for the wicket of the hard-hitting Kieron Pollard.