India Beats West Indies in the 6th match of champions trophy 2013 at The Oval by 8 wickets with 65 balls remaining, marking their permanent place in the semi finals of the champions trophy 2013. Pakistan are knocked out completely by this win and it will be now West Indies And South Africa’s match deciding who joins India into the semi finals.
Nearly four years ago, in the same city of London, Ravindra Jadeja was caught in the headlights. He could neither get out nor hit out, and his 25 off 35 in that Twenty20 match against England – India were knocked out of that World T20 – earned him what seemed like a lifetime of ridicule. He wasn’t supposed to succeed at international cricket. He did. He wasn’t supposed to succeed outside Asia at least. He has, for now.
When Jadeja was introduced in this Champions Trophy match, West Indies had marched to 92 for 1 in 17 overs, and Johnson Charles, an awkward batsman to deal with, was timing everything he hit. He had carted Bhuvneshwar Kumar, deflected Umesh Yadav and lofted Virat Kohli and even R Ashwin. India were staring at a big total, but Jadeja twirled that ball like he does his new ‘tache. Some turned and some didn’t; most of them were headed for the stumps, but at different speeds; five of them got wickets, two lbws and one bowled; and West Indies went from 103 for 1 to 182 for 9.
At which point, another man whose international existence is questioned far more often than is healthy took West Indies to a fighting total. Darren Sammy swung hard in the last three overs with only last man for company, rearranged Ishant Sharma’s match figures, and smacked 56 off 35. He wouldn’t even have been playing had Denesh Ramdin not been banned for claiming a catch that wasn’t in the previous match.
Charles had been an irritant for India, who had managed to get past Chris Gayle before he could do any real damage. Charles is not a pretty batsman. Nor is he a rhythm player. Form and run of play don’t matter much to him. Once he starts hitting them sweetly, though, he can find unusual spaces on a field of play. He is a man you want out early, and as his stats suggest it hasn’t been difficult to get him out early. However, until today whenever he had reached 50, he had crossed 100.
Charles was already 50 when Jadeja came on to bowl. That included a burst from 6 off 17 to 30 off 26 in six boundaries in the ninth, 10th and 11th over. After that, he didn’t let Ashwin and Kohli, the latter bowled before Jadeja, settle at all. On came Jadeja, and bowled a maiden to Darren Bravo. On the face of it, there was nothing special about that over: just accurate and quick bowling.
In Jadeja’s next, Charles tried to sweep him hard. He connected, but Jadeja had square leg positioned at the right spot. The next ball was quick, went with the arm, and Charles played all across it. Gone. Trademark Jadeja dismissal. Charles should have known better. Now Jadeja began to employ the vice grip, bowling quick, at the stumps, not knowing himself which will turn and which won’t.
Ishant Sharma – match figures of 10-1-43-1 was an able ally at the other end. He bowled short of a length on a dry pitch, and slipped in a maiden with the unsure Marlon Samuels. In the next over, Jadeja got another dart on target, but the umpire saw an inside edge. Jadeja insisted on a review, convinced MS Dhoni, and found out that the ball had hit the pad first, and plumb in front.
Dhoni returned the favour in Jadeja’s next over when he went down the leg side to superbly catch a deflection from Ramnaresh Sarwan. It wasn’t the best delivery Jadeja had bowled, but West Indies had nonetheless gone from 103 for 1 to 109 for 4. Darren Bravo not got stuck even as Dwayne Bravo batted industriously leading up to the Powerplay. Darren finally threw it away just before the Powerplay as he danced down to Ashwin and was stumped for 35 off 83.
India got a lucky break inside the Powerplay even as Kieron Pollard looked threatening. Dwayne Bravo pulled Yadav sweetly, but straight to the only man in the deep. Pollard fell under pressure too. Others lost their head too. Not Sammy. He lifted that bat high, and began to swing. He had to do a fair bit of the farming of the strike because Kemar Roach had joined him with 4.3 overs still to go.
What 4.3 overs they were to be. Yadav went for a straight six, Ishant went for two to go with two fours in the 49th over, and Jadeja was treated to a straight four and a skimming flat six over extra cover. Roach didn’t score a run in that 51-run partnership.
The target of 234 proved no inconvenience for India, whose openers were almost in a contest to outdo each other’s attractive shots. Their 101-run stand was the first time since 2007 that India had put up back-to-back hundred openings outside Asia. At the 25-over mark, India needed just 74 more to make it to the semi-final. They had eight wickets in hand.
That final surge from Sammy was supposed to give West Indies hope. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were to dash that hope soon. From the moment Rohit cut Roach for four in the first over and Dhawan drove Ravi Rampaul through cover for another in the fourth, the match was going only one way. West Indies were either too short or too full, the openers matched each other stroke for stroke. Rohit reached his fifty first, and Dhawan followed soon. Dhawan was unbeaten on 75, and needed to score 25 out of the remaining 74 to get to what could be his third century in the last three international innings.
And it was Dhawan who led India to the victory by batting till the end of the innings for a huge knock of 102 runs off 107 balls.
Man Of The Match:
Ravindra Jadeja for his outstanding bowling performance with his 5 wicket haul giving away only 36 runs.