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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

India win easily, West Indies comfortably: World Cup Day 7

In a Group B match at Port of Spain, India, sent in by Bermuda, faltered for the briefest instant at the beginning of their innings when opener Robin Uthappa was brilliantly caught at slip by Dwayne Leverock, the burly Bermudan police officer, for 3. After that India powered on to 5/413 (Virender Sehwag 114/87b, Sourav Ganguly 89/114b, Yuvraj Singh 83/46b, Sachin Tendulkar 57 no/29b), to which Bermuda replied with 156 in 43.1 overs (David Hemp 76 no /105b, Ajit Agakar and Anil Kumble each 3/38, Zaheer Khan 2/32). India's 257 run victory was the highest ever in the World Cup.


At Kingston in their Group D match West Indies won the toss and sent Zimbabwe in. They lost early wickets: 1/0, 2/2, 3/31, then 4/59, but Brendan Taylor 50/121b and Sean Williams 70 no/88b helped their team to play out the 50 overs and post a handy, if below par, 5/202.

West Indies started comfortably but without much sense of urgency and reached 73 before the first wicket, that of Shiv Chanderpaul 21/60b, fell. Chris Gayle 40/48b followed without addition to the total and further wickets fell at 106 and 129, at which point Dwayne Bravo joined Brian Lara: the pair gradually took control of the match without taking too many risks and steered the home side home with 5 wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare. Lara's 44 no/ 68b and Bravo's 37/ 46b says a lot about their cautious determination against some steady but hardly penetrative bowling.


With one match each to play Bermuda definitely and Zimbabwe almost certainly will not progress to the Super Eight stage. This will surprise few cricket followers, including probably many of the teams' own supporters.

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