India beat West Indies but make early exit

JOHANNESBURG: Praveen Kumar and Ashish Nehra shared six wickets as India beat West Indies by seven wickets but still went out of the ICC Champions Trophy on Wednesday.

India failed to advance to the semi-finals from Group A after Australia beat Pakistan earlier in the day. India ended the group stage with a single victory while West Indies lost all three of their matches in the competition.

India skittled West Indies for 129 in 36 overs, with seamer Kumar capturing 3-22 and left-arm swing bowler Nehra taking 3-31. In reply, India cruised to 130-3 off 32.1 overs thanks to a second-wicket stand of 92 from Dinesh Karthik (34) and Virat Kohli, who finished unbeaten on 79.

After winning the toss and electing to field, India’s opening bowlers Kumar and Nehra both swung the new ball prodigiously as West Indies slumped to 31 for four inside 11 overs. Kumar, in particular, was impressive as his opening spell yielded the superb figures of two for 15 off eight overs.

In an unusual move India’s captain and wicketkeeper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave up his gloves to bowl the 17th over of the innings. Dhoni’s decision proved to be an inspired one as the medium-pacer bowled Travis Dowlin to claim his first wicket in one-day international cricket.

After their top-order had been quickly dismantled the West Indies continued to struggle with the bat. India’s run-chase got off to a rocky start as they slipped to 12 for two before Karthik and Kohli steadied the innings.

We made mistakes: Dhoni

JOHANNESBURG: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted his team made mistakes during the ICC Champions Trophy in which they failed to reach the semi-finals.

They beat West Indies by seven wickets in their final match but finished third in Group A after starting the tournament as one of the favourites. India made a poor start when they lost to Pakistan by 54 runs and their second game against Australia was abandoned because of rain.

“We have made mistakes during this tournament. Our bowlers gave batsmen too much width and we can definitely put in more of an effort in the field,” Dhoni said. “We need to work on a few things and hopefully we will have time to fix those things before we play again,” he added. Dhoni also rued the fact his team lacked an all-rounder who can bowl quickly. “One reason Australia is so strong is that their bowlers, like Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee, can all bat a bit,” Dhoni said.

“We should be able to find a seamer who can bat. At times, if you are playing with six batsmen, you can get into trouble especially if you are chasing a target and lose early wickets,” he said. “During this tournament, we were forced to play five specialist bowlers and none of them are particularly good batsmen.”