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Defeat leaves India on verge of elimination

West Indies skipper Chris Gayle was at his belligerent best to help the West Indies beat India by 14 runs to keep their hopes of reaching the Twenty20 World Cup semi finals alive while India were left on the verge of elimination.

Gayle hit a superb 97 from just 66 balls which included 5 fours and 7 sixes as the skipper bounced back after a disappointing game against Sri Lanka.

The highlight of his innings was a monstrous six off the bowling off Yusuf Pathan which sailed over the top of the Worrell, Weeks and Walcott Stand much to the delight of a packed Kensington Oval.

Having scored the first ever Twenty20 International century; Gayle missed out on the chance of becoming the first man to score two centuries after he was dismissed in the final over.

Having been exposed by the Australian bowlers on Friday; the Indian batsman were once again peppered with short balls as the West Indies took advantage of a fast bouncy wicket at the Kensington Oval.

Kemar Roach and Darren Sammy both took a wicket a piece in the power play overs as India were restricted to just 33 runs losing openers Murali Vijay (7) and Gautam Gambhir (15) in the process.

With the pressure mounting; Rohit Sharma (5) let his frustrations get the better of him when he remained at the crease after he was given out by Billy Bowden to question the umpire’s decision.

Although replays clearly showed the ball came off Sharma’s forearm Bowden gave him out instantly and with the West Indies player’s celebrating Sharma stood his ground pointing to his forearm and making the signal for the TV umpire.

After a conversation between Bowden and fellow umpire Simon Taufel the decision was upheld and Sharma was forced to leave field, with emotions running high Sharma can expect a meeting with match referrer Jeff Crowe after the game to discuss his actions.

With India in trouble Suresh Raina (32) and Yuvraj Singh (12) offered some hope with a 4th wicket partnership of 42 but the pair were both dismissed within the space of 5 balls to as the West Indies struck back to leave the 2007 champions 81-5 after 12.4 overs.

With two quick wickets falling it meant India needed another 89 runs from 44 balls but the asking rate was too much even for India skipper MS Dhoni (29) who was run out in the 18th over to leave India having to wait for the outcome of Sri Lanka’s game against Australia.

A victory for Sri Lanka would end India’s hope of reaching the semi finals while defeat against the Aussies would mean India needing a heavy victory against Sri Lanka on Tuesday to stand any chance of reaching the semi finals.

It turned out to be a perfect day for the hosts, having lost the toss Gayle shared a first wicket partnership of 80 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul who scored 23 as the pair got the West Indies off to a positive start.

With both teams needing a victory to stay in the hunt for a place in the semi finals; India didn’t help their cause with some very ordinary fielding including two vital dropped catches as Chanderpaul led a charmed life.

The opener was dropped by Ravinder Jadeja in the 7th over before MS Dhoni and Pathan bumped into each other as they both went for the same catch in the 11th over as India were starting to feel the pressure of Gayle’s blitz.

Although Chanderpaul was finally caught by Dhoni a few balls after his mix up with Pathan; Gayle carried on regardless supported by Darren Sammy who enjoyed a cameo innings of 19 before he was dismissed by Jadeja.

With two wickets down Kieron Pollard came to the crease and he wasted little time getting under way by flicking a low full toss from Jadeja into the stands to score a six from only his second delivery at the crease.

His partnership with Gayle lasted only 20 balls but the pair added 41 valuable runs to the West Indies total before he was dismissed for 17 by Zaheer Khan at the end of the 18th over to leave the West Indies 160-3.

After suffering a torrid time in the field India struck back in the last over picking up the wickets of Dwayne Bravo (1), Ramnaraesh Sarwan (0) and Gayle as Ashish Nehra conceded only 6 runs to leave the West Indies 169-6.

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