Rampaul takes 5-51 but Windies fall

Chennai, India – West Indies suffered another batting collapse as they fell to India by 80 runs in their final ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Group B match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk.

The Windies slipped from 154-2 in the 31st over to be bowled out for 188 with 42 balls left in reply to India’s 268 all out in 49.1 overs. The weak batting undid a career-best spell from fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, in his first World Cup match, and another fine innings from Devon Smith, the in-form left-handed opener.

Scoreboard: espncricinfo.com/icc_cricket_worldcup2011/engine/current/match/433599.html

Rampaul was playing called into the line-up following an illness that sidelined strike bowler Kemar Roach. He responded to challenge of leading the attack, and captured 5-51 from 10 overs. He took the big wicket of Sachin Tendulkar in the first over from a superb lifting delivery which he edged to the keeper.

Smith continued his rich vein of form with 81 from 97 balls but he fell with the score at 154-3 and the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 34 runs in the space of 76 balls.

“We lost a cluster of wickets and this is a concern for us. We must however, pick ourselves up from these two losses, and get ourselves together again. We have reached the knockout stage, which was our objective, and anything can happen from here,” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

The result confirmed a place for West Indies in the quarter-finals, after they held onto fourth place ahead of Bangladesh with six points and a superior net run rate. South Africa topped Group-B with 10 points, India finished second on nine points, and England ended in third on seven points.

West Indies have three days to get their act together before they face Group-A winners Pakistan in the first quarter-final on Wednesday at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

“We are still in the tournament having reached the knockout stage, but we really have to tighten-up, and tighten-up very, very quickly because we are facing Pakistan, so we need to bring our A-game. We are playing in Bangladesh, where we had success earlier in the tournament, and this would give us a bit of confidence, and hopefully we can put together an equally sound performance in that game and reach the semi-finals,” Sammy said.

In the India innings Rampaul had to share the spotlight with Yuvraj Singh. The Indian left-hander defied dehydration and broke his drought of hundreds, when he gathered 113 from 123 balls that included 10 fours and two sixes.

In the Windies innings, Darren Bravo and Smith kept things moving with a sound second-wicket stand of 57, their running between the wickets being the highlight of the partnership. Just when it appeared they would take full control, and leave India with their heads bowed, Bravo was caught at long-on for 22 essaying a lofted drive.

West Indies were 91-2, and Smith continued to bat confidently, and reached his 50 from 64 balls, when he drove to long-off for a single in the 19th over. Smith and Sarwan batted with little fanfare to add 63 from 81 balls, defying every spin option India could use before left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan made the breakthrough and swung the match, when Smith was bowled looking for a drive.

Zaheer was the most successful Indian bowler with 3-26 runs from six overs, Yuvraj ended with 2-18 from four overs to take the Man-of-the-Match award.

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