There is an oddity with regard to the India-West Indies tussle in the semifinal of the ICC World Twenty20 at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday. It will be the first time that the two teams will clash in a T20 game on Indian soil.
It was in the quarterfinal of the ICC World Twenty20 at Lord’s, on June 12, 2009, that India, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and West Indies, captained by Chris Gayle, faced each other for the first time. West Indies won by seven wickets, with eight balls to spare, as Dwayne Bravo (66 not out) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (18 not out) kept India at bay with an unbeaten 56-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Yuvraj Singh scored 67, as India posted 153 for seven in the match.
West Indies once again won (by 14 runs) when the teams met in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 in Bridgetown, Barbados. On this occasion, captain Gayle led from the front, scoring 98 off 66 balls with five fours and seven sixes, as West Indies posted 169 for six. For India, left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra impressed with 3 for 35.
Suresh Raina top scored for India with 32, while Dhoni was run out for 29.
India pulls one back
In June 2011, in the one-off T20 match in Port of Spain, India emerged victor, as a Gayle-less West Indies fell short of the target by 16 runs. S. Badrinath was the top scorer for India with 43, while Parthiv Patel made 26 as an opener. Rohit Sharma, batting at No. 6, too scored 26.
Then in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Mirpur, India beat West Indies by seven wickets with two balls remaining. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took 3 for 48, but it was the run out of Gayle that enabled India to restrict West Indies to 129 for 7. While chasing the small target, Rohit Sharma anchored the innings with an unbeaten 62 (five fours, two sixes) and Virat Kohli, batting at No. 3, made 54 off 41 balls (five fours, one six). Sharma and Kohli put on a 106-run stand for the second wicket after Shikhar Dhawan’s dismissal off the third ball he faced.
With the head-to-head between the teams in T20 reading 2-2, it will be interesting to see who pulls ahead on Thursday.
Captains Dhoni and Darren Sammy have shown excellent results. After playing India’s first Twenty20 against South Africa in Johannesburg under Virender Sehwag, Dhoni has led India to victory in 39 of the team's 66 matches, while Sammy has led West Indies to victory in 25 of its 45 matches.