Suresh Raina's jibe at the West Indians was indeed spot-on. On the eve of India's Super 10s match, the left-hander had called the Caribbean superstars "six hitters who don't know how to rotate the strike". He was right. Raina had also predicted that "our spinners hold the key". He was right again. For the record, the Men in Blue restricted the defending champions to just 129/7 before the batsmen completed a second straight facile win in the World Twenty20 on Sunday.
The Indian spin bowling trio — Man of the Match Amit Mishra (2/18), Ravindra Jadeja (3/48) and R Ashwin (1/24) — came up with another superb performance at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium. Riding on half centuries from Rohit Sharma (62 not out) and Virat Kohli (54), MS Dhoni & Co. got the better of West Indies by seven wickets.
A match that was supposed to be a high-scoring affair turned out to be a damp squib as the high-profile West Indians came a cropper against the spinners.
Dhoni again won the toss and chose to field first on a wicket that had good carry during the Australia-Pakistan game. The crowd turned up in large numbers to watch Chris Gayle bat. New-ball bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami, however, did not let him and Dwayne Smith play their natural game. Instead, they troubled them with swing and pace. Gayle was also given a life by Ashwin who dropped one at first slip off Shami.
Gayle only offered a glimpse of his power hitting before being dropped again by Yuvraj Singh, this one a dolly, at deep midwicket off Mishra.
But once the spinners were in operation, the West Indians struggled. Ashwin got Smith with a brilliant return catch while Gayle ran out himself. Mishra came up with another gem that went away while Marlon Samuels stepped out to hit the leggie out of the part, but missed it and got stumped. The Haryana leggie got two in two when Dwayne Bravo was caught plumb. Mishra finished with 4-0-18-2.
Jadeja, too, was among the wickets and had victims like Lendl Simmons, captain Sammy and Andre Russell. The left-arm spinner got the wickets of Simmons and Russell in the last over which was also the most expensive as he conceded 21 runs that included three sixes.
India had an easy target to chase, but they took it to the last over even as the crowd made its way out in the middle of the innings. Needing one from the last over, Yuvraj (10), who came after Kohli got out in the 18th, consumed two balls before getting out to a forced late cut that landed into the hands of slip fielder Gayle. Raina came in and complete the formalities with a single as India won with two deliveries to spare.