Dravid leads India to victory

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/a/apindianteam.Jpg' class='caption'> An unbeaten half-century by captain Rahul Dravid steered India to victory against West Indies in the Indian Oil Cup cricket series second ODI in Dambulla.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:54 IST
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An unbeaten half-century by captain Rahul Dravid steered India to victory against West Indies in the Indian Oil Cup triangular cricket series second ODI at the Rangiri International Stadium in Dambulla today. Chasing 179 for victory, India won the match by six wickets with 14 overs to spare in what turned out to be a lopsided encounter. Though India lost four wickets on the route to victory, Dravid once again came to the rescue making his second half-century of the tournament. M S Dhoni remained unbeaten on 15. Dravid (52 not out) not only guided his team to victory on a difficult batting track stadium but also enabled India to garner a bonus point. He was also declared the man of the match. Disciplined performance The Indians, who had lost to hosts Sri Lanka in the opening match yesterday, more or less made amends with a more disciplined performance which was bound to boost their confidence level. Jermaine Lawson struck early in the second over with Virender Sehwag giving a catch to Denesh Ramdin for just two runs. After the fall of Sehwag, Suresh Raina joined Kaif and the two Uttar Pradesh lads steadied the Indian innings. Tino Best claimed his first wicket when Kaif was caught in the slips by Sylvester Joseph for 24. Raina who was looking in fine form after being dropped twice lost his wicket after being caught by Xavier Marshall off a Dwayne Smith delivery for 35. Yuvarj Singh along with Rahul Dravid steadied the innings putting up 61 runs for the fourth wicket before Lawson picked up the wicket of Yuvraj. Splendid bowling Earlier, a splendid bowling effort by Indian bowlers restricted West Indies to 178. Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra and Virender Sehwag took two wickets apiece as the West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals after winning the toss and electing to bat first. The Caribbeans, without several of their senior players including Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan due to a pay dispute, hardly had a batsman who could take the attack to the Indian side that is looking to set right a poor one-day performance since last season. Deonarine shines Narsingh Deonarine top-scored with 41 and it was only some late-order hitting that gave the West Indian total some respectability. Irfan Pathan provided the first breakthrough for India, trapping Runako Morton leg before wicket for one in the third over of the game. Sylvester Joseph then added four runs to the score before being run out in the 10th over of the game. West Indies lost the third wicket when Rahul Dravid caught Xavier Marshall in the slips off a Harbhajan Singh delivery. Deonarine and Chanderpaul added 52 runs for the fourth wicket to temporarily stem the rot. Sursesh Raina claimed his first wicket of the match when he had West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul trapped leg before wicket for 22 runs. Ricardo Powell too couldn't stay at the crease for long and was bowled out for just one by Virender Sehwag. Cameo knock Harbhajan Singh claimed his second wicket of the match when Dwayne Smith nicked a delivery to wicketkeeper M S Dhoni. He scored a useful 20 runs. Denesh Ramdin played a cameo knock of 24 before being bowled out by medium pacer Ashish Nehra. Nehra also picked up the wicket of Daren Powell who returned to the pavilion without scoring a run. Tino Best chipped in with an important 24 before losing his wicket to Zaheer Khan. Jermaine Lawson remained unbeaten on three runs. India retains squad India retained the same side that lost to Sri Lanka by three wickets in the opening match of the series on Saturday. West Indies, without several senior players including Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan due to a row over sponsorship money with their cricket board, have included two debutants in Denesh Ramdin and Narsingh Deonarine. Teams:India: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Y Venugopla Rao, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan. West Indies: Shivnarine Chanderpual (Captain), Xavier Marshall, Runako Morton, Ricardo Powell, Sylvester Joseph, Dwayne Smith, Tino Best, Jermaine Lawson, Daren Powell, Narsingh Deonarine, Denesh Ramdin. (With PTI inputs)

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