India pulled back an early West Indies surge to bowl the Caribbean team out for 188 in 43 overs as its pacer Zaheer Khan took three wickets, while World Cup debutant R Ashwin and seasoned Yuvraj Singh scalped two wickets each here at Chepauk’s jam-packed Chinna Swamy stadium.
Chasing the set India’s target of 269, West Indies opener Devon Smith cracked 81 off 97 balls to pose a serious threat initially. However, the Indian bowlers and fielders tightened the screws and wickets fell at regular intervals as Carribeans were bowled out. Bravo (22) had thrown away a promising stand with a careless loft to Harbhajan Singh at long-on off Suresh Raina, but Smith and Sarwan pushed the West Indies on.
Earlier on winning the toss, India chose to bat, but lost its openers Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Ghamir cheaply. But India recovered strongly with Yuvraj regaining his form, was lucky to surive twice, when he was dropped by West Indies skipper Sammy at backward point. He went on to score his first-ever century in his 20th World Cup game. Yuvraj had three half-centuries in latest four innings before Sunday. Virat Kohli coming at No.3 initially kept pace with a half-century of his own, to go with his hundred in the opening match, and the pair combined for a century stand off 119 balls.
It was Kohli and Yuvraj who held together India’s innings, even as Rampaul pulled the co-host back with the first three wickets and two late strikes for a five-wicket haul in his first game at the tournament. Playing his 450th one-day international, Tendulkar (2) walked in the first over after sending a faint edge to wicketkeeper Devon Thomas off the sixth ball of the match from Rampaul.
India apparently had made good its promise to give all of its squad members a run out in the group stage, with Ashwin and Raina brought in at their home ground for their first games at the World Cup.
West Indies rested opener Chris Gayle and paceman Roach for Edwards and Rampaul.With this win, India secured second place in Group B and play all important quarterfinal against defending champion Australia, while West Indies lock horns with Group A top team Pakistan.