Jadeja, Dhawan drive India into the semi-finals

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: June 11, 2013, 7:11 PM IST
Jadeja, Dhawan drive India into the semi-finals

London: Ravindra Jadeja produced the best bowling figures by an Indian in the ICC Champions Trophy and Shikhar Dhawan collected his second ODI century in as many matches as India became the first team to reach the semi-finals following an eight-wicket drubbing of West Indies at The Oval on Tuesday. Jadeja's career-best 5 for 36 helped keep West Indies to 233 for 9 and Dhawan's unbeaten 102 hastened an eight wicket victory with 65 balls remaining.

Having been asked to bat, West Indies were cruising at 103 for 1 in the 20th over but Jadeja's introduction sparked a collapse to 114 for 4 by the half-way mark. Johnson Charles had played positively for his 60, awakening form a sedate start to crash six fours in the space of nine balls, but moments after he struck R Ashwin for six over long-on the opener was beaten for pace by Jadeja. Playing back and across to a straight ball on middle stump, Charles was struck in front.

Jadeja then had an lbw shout against Marlon Samuels overturned, after Aleem Dar initially ruled it not out. His third success was just around the corner, as Ramnaresh Sarwan's poor run at ODI level continued. Looking to turn the ball off his pads, Sarwan ticked a catch to Dhoni for 1.

West Indies struggled to recover from Jadeja's first spell (5-1-10-3) and the innings panned out in a haze of indecisiveness. Darren Bravo's laboured innings came to an end courtesy a lovely bit of bowling from Ashwin, who drew the batsmen out and had him stumped for 35 off 83 balls. His brother, the captain Darren, made 25 before he flicked Umesh Yadav out to deep midwicket where Jadeja held the catch just inside the boundary.

After ten scoreless deliveries, Kieron Pollard counter-punched with consecutive sixes down the ground off Ashwin but struggled to maintain this belligerence and eventually fell for 22 when he drove Ishant Sharma to long-on. Instead of turning the strike over to Darren Sammy - drafted into the XI in place of Denesh Ramdin - Sunil Narine attempted a big shot and gifted Jadeja his fourth wicket. The fifth, almost inevitably, came in the next over when Ravi Rampaul missed a swipe and was bowled for 2.

Sammy swung his bat around to get the total past 200, striking Ishant for 4, 6, 4, 6 in successive deliveries in the 49th over, and then blasted Jadeja for a flat six over cover to reach his half-century in 33 balls. Jadeja's final ball was thumped for four over his head, meaning Sammy had looted 35 off the last two overs. However, it was not nearly enough for a purring Indian line-up.

For the second match running, Dhawan and Rohit Sharma combined for a century opening stand. With the West Indian quicks feeding them opportunities to drive, cut and flick the pair rattled past the 50-mark in the eighth over, with the scoring being almost equally shared. Rohit unfurled some pretty drives while Dhawan, as he had in Cardiff, was the most impressive when playing horizontal-bat shots.

Dhawan was reprieved on 23 by Pollard who put in a terrific dive at point off Sammy, and then on 41 by Kemar Roach at deep fine leg who made a mess of a straightforward catch. Rohit reached his half-century in 52 balls but fell soon after for 52, ruled out after an appeal for caught behind down the leg side off Narine was reversed on review. Kohli began promisingly with some lovely drives and pulls but was bowled for 22 when he misread one from Narine that straightened.

Dhawan, with Dinesh Karthik for company, carried on the good work. He eased past another half-century in 45 balls and kept punishing deliveries that were too short. Narine was silkily driven past cover and Roach pulled away for boundaries, and Samuels crashed backward of point. A brief rain interruption was followed by Dhawan reaching his second ODI century with an uppercut six off Dwayne Bravo. Karthik hit the winning runs over extra cover with a boundary that raised his fifty.

India's victory eliminated Pakistan form the Champions Trophy and West Indies now face South Africa on Friday in what is now effectively a quarter-final.

First Published: June 11, 2013, 7:11 PM IST

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