A sparkling 92 not out from just 64 balls (with 8 fours and 5 sixes) by Andre Russell rescued hosts West Indies from a hopeless position of 96 for 7 to a decent looking 225 for 8 in the Third ODI at North Sound. Russell scored 92* despite coming in as low as no.10 in what was his first game of this series.
The hosts were off to a dismal start when Kirk Edwards got out for a 2-ball duck edging a short delivery from Munaf Patel to the keeper in the 2nd over. Ramnaresh Sarwan repaired the damage with Lendl Simmons before the former got run out in the 15th over. Sarwan scored 28 from 32 balls (with 2 fours and a six) in a 2nd wicket stand of 65 runs. Leggie Amit Mishra turned the match heavily in India’s favour almost immediately after this by getting the wickets of Marlon Samuels and debutant Danza Hyatt cheaply. Samuels got stumped out after getting beaten in a flick shot against the turn having overbalanced. Danza Hyatt on the other hand dragged a cover drive off an inside edge after failing to read a googly as WI slipped to 74 for 4.
Amit Mishra provided another big blow which left West Indies reeling at 77 for 5 by the 22nd over. This time he got rid of the well set Lendl Simmons (45 from 68 balls with 4 fours and a six) who edged a turning and jumping leg break to slip. And that was followed up by Harbhajan Singh getting a lucky wicket of Kieron Pollard in the 25th over with the big hitter getting a dubious caught behind decision when he went back and got beaten by a top spinner outside off. The Umpire was Norman Malcolm who was in two minds about to raise his finger but withdrawing and comically in the end lifting it up as if he came under the pressure of a massive appeal from the bowler and the keeper.
Munaf Patel who replaced Amit Mishra (10-2-28-3) in the 30th over got the West Indian Captain Darren Sammy (3 from 14) nicking his shortish leg cutter to the keeper to have the hosts in dire straits at 96 for 7. It looked as if the hosts would fold up for a 120-150 total but they pulled off a 225-run total in the end due to Russell’s brilliance. Wicket Keeper Carlton Baugh was like a rock scoring a steady 36 (from 73 balls) to put up a crucial 78 runs for the 8th wicket with Russell. Baugh only got out while trying to accelerate in the slog overs off Munaf Patel. Russell got another good partnership, this time of 51 runs for the unbroken 8th wicket with Kemar Roach (7* from 10 balls) to take West Indies to the modest total.
Munaf Patel like Mishra took three wickets but went for 60 in his 10 overs. India’s bowling looked flat towards the latter part of the innings with both Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel lacking the extra pace to trouble the lower order. Though West Indies made 225, the pitch seems to be very flat for batting and it shouldn’t be too difficult for India to get the runs unless they bat poorly!