LONDON (AP) — Spinning allrounder Ravindra Jadeja twisted and turned West Indies into knots, capturing five wickets before a late flurry from Darren Sammy lifted the Caribbean team to 233-9 at the Champions Trophy on Tuesday.
Jadeja removed Johnson Charles (60), Marlon Samuels (1) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (1) within 14 balls for five runs, giving full voice to the vociferous support of the overwhelming Indian majority crowd at The Oval. He also removed Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul, finishing with 5-36 for his first ODI five-wicket haul.
Sammy smashed 35 runs off the last two overs — including 21 from Ishant Sharma — to score 56 not out from 35 balls with five boundaries and four sixes to resurrect West Indies' hopes. After both won their opening matches last week, India or West Indies will be on the brink of advancing to the semifinals from Group B with a victory on Tuesday.
Dwayne Bravo (25), Kieron Pollard (22) and Chris Gayle (21) all got starts, while Darren Bravo made a stultifying 35 off 83 balls. The same couldn't be said of Sammy in the final overs. After crawling to 5 from 16 balls, he unleashed a barrage of shots to crack a further 51 from 19 deliveries.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni rotated his bowlers well after winning the toss and electing to bowl first under heavy cloud cover, searching for ways to slow West Indies' bright opening start. He found it through Jadeja and to a lesser extent Ravichandran Ashwin after the opening attack of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav struggled for control. Even Virat Kohli's extremely part-time trundlers were called upon to mix things up.
Gayle entered the match as the leading scorer in the seven-edition history of the tournament with 734 runs, 452 in boundaries, and he looked intent on adding to that total with the new ball deviating little under the leaden sky and the pitch playing true.
The power-hitting opener cracked two more fours by pulling a couple of short-pitched balls from Yadav in a second over that cost 11 runs, ending the bowler's opening spell after only six balls. Gayle bludgeoned two boundaries down the ground to reach 21 off 18 balls before he edged a rising delivery from Kumar for Ashwin to hold a sharp overhead chance at first slip with the total on 25.
With Gayle gone, Charles took up the aggressive mantle, striking five boundaries from seven balls at one stage as West Indies reached the end of the compulsory powerplay at 55-1 after 10 overs. Dhoni made a double change to try and stem the run flow, bringing on Ashwin with his fast off breaks, plus part-time bowler Kohli's slow-medium pacers that have returned an ODI average of 153 but which offered little width on Tuesday.
Jadeja came on to bowl his left-arm darts, bowling a maiden and then trapping Charles lbw on his crease with a slingy delivery to leave West Indies on 103-2 in the 20th over. Thirteen balls and two runs later, Jadeja removed Samuels for 1 with an lbw appeal upheld by the TV umpire. Sarwan made the same score before being strangled down the leg side by Jadeja and brilliantly caught by Dhoni with the total on 109-4 in the 24th over.
Jadeja was well supported by Sharma, giving up only six runs in his three-over second spell to help choke West Indies' run rate. The West Indians eked their way to 140 before Darren Bravo's anchor innings was ended by Dhoni's stumping off Ashwin in the 34th over.
The batting powerplay immediately followed and, despite Kieron Pollard taking advantage by plundering a six over long-off and another over midwicket in consecutive balls from Ashwin, it only brought 24 runs for the loss of Dwayne Bravo.
Bravo tried to lift Yadav over the square leg fence but holed out to Jadeja to be dismissed for 25 with the total on 163 in the 38th over. Five overs later, Sharma finally got his reward when Pollard picked out Kumar on the long-on boundary with eight runs added to the total.
The Jadeja show then returned, enticing Narine to sky a catch to Dinesh Karthik at cover and bowling Rampaul within six balls. But Sammy was to have the final word.