The West Indies team and India recently played out one of the most exciting games in recent ODI history. The game ended with 642 runs scored, 321 by each side and an incredible tie.
There have been 37 ties in the history of the format and the West Indies Team has been involved in the most (10). After India took the first strike and made 321 on a seemingly slow pitch, the name on everyone’s lip was Virat Kohli, and his record-breaking achievement of 10,000 ODI runs in just 205 innings shattering his idol Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 259 innings to get to the same landmark.
None of the pundits predicted or expected the batting display from an inexperienced West Indian team that barring Marlon Samuels, the combined team has played fewer games than Virat Kohli. But a display of clean ball striking by the rising star Shimron Hetmyer and a calculated century by the promising Shai Hope stunned the Indian team, Indian fans and I might dear say even some of the West Indian fans! By the end of the 38th over, the West Indies needed less than a run a ball to win the match and was in pole position to do so, however in typical current-day West Indies style, the team contrived of a way to not win the game.
Where did it all go wrong for the West Indies in the chase? We will look at some of the key moments that cost them the match.
The first key moment that shifted the momentum in India’s favor was the dismissal of Shimron Hetmyer. Hetmyer was on 94 off 63 balls and was on the verge of taking the game away from India when he got a short, long hop from Yuzvendra Chahal that should have resulted in his 8th six for the innings and bring up his century off just 64 balls. This was however not to be, and Hetmyer miscued the shot and was caught for 94.
This moment of the game was essential since it gave the Indians an opening and renewed belief that they could get back into the game. The result might have been different if that ball sailed had out of the ground for six. Another critical moment in the game was the brain freeze that caused the dismissal of Jason Holder.
This was in the 48th over and the West Indies at the time needed a comfortable 22 from 20 balls, Shai Hope was on strike and had the previous ball was a dot. He was trying to avoid playing two consecutive dot balls and played the ball directly to the fielder at cover and instinctively took some steps down the pitch for a run.
Holder saw him coming and began haring down to the other end only to see that Hope had retreated to his crease and he was at a point of no return. This run out was a direct result of confusion caused by the pressure of the situation that resulted in an error in judgment by the usually calm and composed Jason Holder.
Following the runout, there was a sequence of 10 balls where only eight runs were scored leaving the West Indies with the mammoth task of scoring 14 runs off the last six balls; this difficult situation would have been avoided if the suicidal run was not attempted.
In the final analysis, these two pivotal moments played a critical role in the West Indies not winning this cricket match, and if they want to win tight games like these in the future, they have to win these moments.
The West Indies team is however very young and should at least get some credit for the spirited performance in this match that had the long-suffering West Indian fans feeling good about the possibilities for the future.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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