Mirpur: Spinners Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja starred as India secured their second successive win at the ICC World Twenty20 with a seven-wicket triumph over West Indies at the Sher e Bangla National Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.
Jadeja took three for 48 and Mishra an impressive two for 18 as the defending champions’ much-vaunted batting line-up was restricted to 129 for seven, despite a string of missed chances in the field. Half-centuries from Rohit Sharma (62no) and Virat Kohli (54) then saw India to a comfortable victory even though they only had two balls to spare.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bowl, basing the decision on the fact there was not too much dew on the ground at the time, which would help the ball come on to the bat better while chasing. India were unchanged from the team that beat Pakistan on Friday, while West Indies surprisingly left out Ravi Rampaul.
Only opener Chris Gayle, who was dropped twice on his way to 34, rose to the challenge of taking on the Indian attack.
Opening bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away just one run from the first over, but in the second India’s poor fielding came to light for the first time. Mohammad Shami thought he had the wicket of the dangerous Gayle, but Ravichandran Ashwin at first slip could not hold on to the chance above his head.
Gayle hit the first six in the fourth over by lifting Shami over mid-wicket before also picking up a boundary in the same over.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, India’s hero against Pakistan, was introduced in the seventh over. Gayle hit his first delivery over long-on for a huge six and next ball Gayle again lifted to mid-wicket, where Yuvraj Singh dropped an easy chance.
In the eighth over, Ashwin got Dwayne Smith out caught and bowled off a leading edge for 11.
Marlon Samuels joined Gayle but the pair could add only 24 runs in 5.1 overs before Gayle was run out for 34, when Samuels cut the ball straight to point and took off. Gayle, who is not the fastest of runners, was out by a mile after Shami threw the ball to Dhoni.
Mishra then produced a beauty to fox Samuels with his flight and had him stumped by Dhoni for 18. With the very next ball, Mishra trapped Dwayne Bravo leg before for a duck. The first delivery to Samuels was a superb, tossed up leg-break that spun away, while the second was a googly that Bravo totally misread.
By the end of the 15th over, West Indies were 76 for four.
Lendl Simmons picked up a boundary to long-off off left-arm spinner Jadeja, but he had a lucky escape when a divng Rohit Sharma dropped a chance at cover off Shami.
Jadeja took the wicket of Sammy (11) by forcing him to go for a huge hit, which was caught by Sharma at long-off. Jadeja also claimed the wicket of Simmons for 14.
In reply, India lost opener Shikhar Dhawan for a duck when he was adjudged leg-before to leg-spinner Samuel Badree, but replays showed he should not have been given out as the ball pitched outside leg stump.
The in-form Kohli went for his shots right away. He hit Badree for a boundary and a six to announce his intentions and also took left-arm pacer Krishmar Santokie for two consecutive boundaries.
India brought their 50 up in just 6.1 overs and with Sharma also picking up boundaries at ease, the West Indies total looked too small.
Kohli and Sharma put on 106 runs in 13.5 overs before Kohli was bowled by Andre Russell. Kohli cracked 54 off 41 balls with five boundaries and a six, while Rohit’s unbeaten 62 came off 55 balls with five boundaries and two sixes.
Yuvraj (10 off 19) was caught by Gayle at slip off Samuels with just one run required, but Suresh Raina duly delivered the winning blow with the next ball.
India beat West Indies by 7 wickets
West Indies 129-7 in 20 overs (C. Gayle 34; A. Mishra 2-18, R. Jadeja 3-48)
India 130-3 in 19.4 overs (V. Kohli 54, R. Sharma 62no)
Group 2 standings
Team P W L T N/R Pts NetRR
India 2 2 0 0 0 4 +0.363
Pakistan 2 1 1 0 0 2 +0.077
Bangladesh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
West Indies 1 0 1 0 0 0 -0.160
Australia 1 0 1 0 0 0 -0.800
— Top two qualify for semi-finals