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Samuels stars in Windies’ victory

Posted by Dresonic on January 28, 2007

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CHENNAI, India (CMC) – Marlon Samuels fell two runs short of a hundred and captain Brian Lara hammered a typically fluent half-century, but West Indies were forced to survive some anxious moments at the end before pulling off a three-wicket victory over India in their third One-Day International of the four-match series yesterday.

However, both Samuels and Lara were among four wickets that fell for 46 runs, a collapse that would have sent ripples of concern throughout the West Indies camp, before Denesh Ramdin’s glorious square drive off pacer Shantha Sreesanth ended the contest.

The victory hauled West Indies back into the series after they had lost the first two matches in Nagpur and Cuttack, respectively. The final match is scheduled for Vadodara on Wednesday.
Needing a victory to keep the series alive, West Indies slipped to 92 for three in the 13th over before Samuels and Lara combined in a match-winning stand of 127 for the fourth wicket.

Samuels, striking the ball with excellent timing, counted 12 fours and one six in 95 balls, while Lara took a special fancy to the Indian spinners, hammering 10 fours and two sixes in facing 88 balls.
The left-handed Lara was severe on veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble, taking 14 from the bowler’s fifth over. Lara hoisted the first delivery over long off for six before taking boundaries from the last two balls of the over, as he raced to 22 and pushed the Windies up to 132 for three after 19 overs.

Samuels followed suit in the next over, lofting off-spinner Ramesh Powar effortlessly over the ropes at long off for six and then repeating the shot to long-on for four, in an over costing 14 runs.

The right-handed Samuels seemed set to post his third ODI century when he suddenly flirted with a ball outside off stump from seamer Ajit Agarkar and was caught at the wicket low down by Dinesh Karthik.
As the target approached, Lara stepped up his approach smashing Powar over extra cover for six, but attempting the shot two balls later, succeeded in skying a catch to Robin Uthappa at cover.

It signalled nervous moments for the visitors. Dwayne Bravo (4) never settled and after facing six balls, finally steered Sreesanth to Suresh Raina at slip and Lendl Simmons, who looked accomplished in making 17 from 24 balls, gloved Powar to Uthappa at short leg.
There were no dramatic collapse, however, as Ramdin averted the danger.

West Indies had started poorly, losing opener Chris Gayle to the first ball of the innings, lbw to Agarkar for his second successive duck of the series.
Runako Morton followed a wide out-swinger from Agarkar to be caught at the wicket for one and Devon Smith scored an enterprising 33 from 34 balls before a brilliant catch by Rahul Dravid at slip off Kumble ended his stay at the crease.

Agarkar finished with 3-45 while Powar claimed 2-53.
Earlier, contrasting half-centuries from Uthappa, Sachin Tendulkar and Dravid set India up nicely, but West Indies bowlers hit back late to restrict the hosts to their eventual total.
Uthappa, playing his first match of the series, blasted a stroke-filled, 41-ball 70 at the top of the order that left West Indies shell-shocked, after the hosts had been asked to bat first in the day/night encounter at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Tendulkar hammered a patient 60 and Dravid a measured 57 to press home India’s advantage, but medium-pacer Bravo struck back after a wretched start to claim four for 39, to haul the visitors back into the encounter.

He was aided by off-spinner Gayle, who captured two for 57 and Samuels, whose 10 overs cost just 41 runs, as India lost their way after their impressive start. Jerome Taylor finished with 2-45.

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