Glory for Rampaul, victory for India

Virat Kohli acknowledges after scoring a century. He and Rohit Sharma (right) came up with a rollicking stand. Rohit remained unbeaten with 90.-Pics: K.R. DEEPAK Virat Kohli acknowledges after scoring a century. He and Rohit Sharma (right) came up with a rollicking stand. Rohit remained unbeaten with 90.

The win was India's 11th on the trot at home. And the obsessive thousands who would have gone home satisfied may just want to thank Rampaul for putting some runs on the board so India's fearless young brigade could chase them down. By Kunal Diwan.

If you think cricket in India is losing its mass appeal due to over-scheduling, think again. Any observations made on the apparently falling numbers that follow the game, as evidenced by low turn-outs for, say, the India-England ODI series, have a strong urban bias.

In the smaller centres, the game and its cocooned stars hold as much sway as they ever did. At Visakhapatnam, the site of the second India-West Indies ODI, a throbbing congregation encircled the stadium on match day, to say nothing of the full-house that rocked the stands inside. It was all well that India maintained its perfect record at the venue, although Ravi Rampaul's unreal fireworks at the tail end made a match of it.

Virender Sehwag elected to field and the visiting team followed its usual pattern of flirting with disaster, as seamers Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav bowled tidy and productive opening spells. The Caribbeans were five down for 63 when some order was restored by Lendl Simmons (78, 102b, 8x4, 1x6) and Kieron Pollard (35, 30b, 3x4, 2x6). But still the wickets continued to fall, until just one remained with the total an uninspiring 170.

Ravi Rampaul's unbeaten 86 is the highest ODI score by a number 10 batsman.-

It was now that Rampaul began his assault, clubbing his way to an unbeaten 86 (66b, 6x4, 6x6) — the highest ODI score by a number 10 — and added 99 runs in 14 overs with the number 11, Kemar Roach. The partnership, the third-highest last-wicket stand in the history of the format, took the West Indies to 279, a target that seemed much larger when both Parthiv Patel and Gautam Gambhir departed for precious little.

Sehwag scratched around, was dropped twice, and finally got out for a painstaking 26 after play was resumed following a rain delay. This brought together Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who associated for 163 runs in 28.3 overs, although Kohli was fortuitous to be dropped by Marlon Samuels on 40.

The whippersnapper completed his hundred (117, 123b, 14x4), his second at the venue and eighth overall, and by the time he was dismissed India was within touching distance of a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Vinay Kumar celebrates after taking the wicket of Danza Hyatt. He picked up three wickets in the match.-

Rohit, who had “sworn” earlier that he'd stick around to the end after leaving it to the last pair in Cuttack's humdinger, did just that, finishing with an unbeaten 90 to go with his 72 not out in the first game.

The win was India's 11th on the trot at home. And the obsessive thousands who would have gone home satisfied may just want to thank Rampaul for putting some runs on the board so India's fearless young brigade could chase them down.

THE SCORES

West Indies: L. Simmons (run out) 78; A. Barath c Parthiv b Yadav 0; M. Samuels c Raina b Yadav 4; Darren Bravo c Ashwin b Vinay 13; D. Hyatt c Parthiv b Vinay 0; D. Ramdin c Jadeja b Yadav 2; K. Pollard c Patel b Ashwin 35; D. Sammy lbw Jadeja 2; A. Russell b Jadeja 11; R. Rampaul (not out) 86; K. Roach (not out) 24; Extras (lb-6, w-7, nb-1): 14; Total (for nine wkts. in 50 overs): 269.

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-25, 3-55, 4-55, 5-63, 6-119, 7-131, 8-149, 9-170.

India bowling: Vinay 10-2-43-2, Yadav 10-0-38-3, Aaron 10-0-66-0, Jadeja 9-2-39-2, Ashwin 10-0-74-1, Raina 1-0-3-0.

India: P. Patel c Sammy b Roach 2; V. Sehwag c Rusell b Samuels 26; G. Gambhir c Barath b Rampaul 12; V. Kohli c Ramdin b Rampaul 117; R. Sharma (not out) 90; S. Raina c Ramdin b Roach 0; R. Jadeja (not out) 9; Extras (lb-4, w-10); 14, Total (for five wkts. in 48.1 overs) 270.

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-29, 3-84, 4-247, 5-248.

West Indies bowling: Rampaul 10-1-62-2, Roach 10-0-40-2, Russell 8.1-0-60-0, Sammy 4-0-30-0, Samuels 10-1-40-1, Pollard 3-0-22-0, Simmons 3-0-12-0.