Benn guides Windies ‘A’ to nail-biting win
By JOEL BAILEY Monday, June 25 2012
SULIEMAN BENN, the much-maligned Barbados and former West Indies left-arm spinner, produced a good all-round performance to guide the West Indies “A” to a nail-biting three-wicket win over India “A”.
Action was in the First Unofficial T20 International”, at the Queen’s Park Oval in Woodbrook, on Saturday night
The game, which started an hour late (8 pm) was reduced to an 18-over-per-team affair due to dampness on the outfield.
Benn took three wickets for 24 runs while his countryman Jason Holder collected 3/19 as India “A” were dismissed for 130, off their allotted overs. Rohit Sharma produced a well-constructed 52 for the tourists.
In response, the hosts got an enterprising 35 from the left-handed Jonathan Carter but it needed Benn’s useful 17, including 15 off the last four balls from pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, to carry the West Indies home.
Kumar claimed figures of 3/25 but himself, and his team-mates, would feel aggrieved as umpire Vincent Bullen did not uphold their appeal when Benn, scrambling a single to Rohit Sharma at midwicket when the stumps were tied, was well short of his ground at the bowler’s end.
No television umpires would be used in the back-to-back T20 Internationals, but the replays by the television crew in attendance clearly showed that the beanpole Benn should have been given out.
In any event, it was the third straight win by the West Indies over India in this month-long tussle.
The West Indies omitted left-arm fast bowler Delorn Johnson, the Man of the Series in their 2-1 Unofficial Test Series, and wicket-keeper Devon Thomas from their 13-man squad while India left out the quartet of Parvinder Awana, Robin Bist, Akshay Darekar and Abhinav Mukund.
Left-arm pacer Krishmar Santokie removed Ajinkya Rahane to a miscued pull to mid-on for 11 but Rohit Sharma joined opener Shikhar Dhawan to produce a second-wicket stand of 49 off 6.4 overs.
Rohit Sharma, highly touted by his fans in India, hit sixes off Santokie and the unconvincing left-arm spinner Garey Mathurin, both over “cow corner” (the gap between long-on and midwicket).
Holder bowled the left-handed Dhawan while captain Cheteshwar Pujara was also bowled, behind his back by leg-spinner Samuel Badree, before Benn came to the fore in the 15th over.
Rohit Sharma, who faced 36 deliveries and struck five fours and two sixes, sliced the first ball of Benn’s over to short third man while the left-armer bowled Wriddhiman Saha (missing a pull) and Jalaj Saxena (backing away) off the fourth and final ball of the over.
When Santokie had Manoj Tiwary caught at long-on, it meant that India lost four wickets for seven runs, and Holder cleaned up the tail in the last over.
Shami Ahmed top-edged a pull to the keeper Carter (deputising for Thomas), Rahul Sharma lost his off-stump while Holder did well to run out Ashok Dinda at the bowler’s end.
The bowler’s run up, at the Gerry Gomez Media Centre End, forced three stoppages of play for repair work to the done, but Nkrumah Bonner and captain Kieran Powell showed a liking for the straight drive to post an opening stand of 34. But, after the second delay, Powell was removed by Kumar and, in his second over, a similar occurrence resulted in the dismissal of Bonner.
Kumar got his third victim when Jason Mohammed was trapped in front while Danza Hyatt flattered to deceive, taking 22 balls to make 13 before he was well caught at short third man.
Carter, who began 2012 as a middle-order batsman but showed his bowling abilities in the “Tests”, went back to his original role as a hitter to good effect, with three sixes and a four off 21 deliveries.
In the process, he lost Christopher Barnwell who was plumb leg-before to the lanky leg-spinner Rahul Sharma before Rohit Sharma, with his off-breaks, provided another twist to the table.