From Our Man in Kingston JA
Tue 23-May-2006 
 

Ian Goodall reports from the scene to the question posed "Best Ever ODI you've seen"?

In the flesh , probably - the twists and turns in the final 15 overs were so numerous to keep everyone on tenterhooks - I'd India as victors all day until Dhoni got out ( in the first game he muscled a brisk 19 including a big 6 and 4 in successive balls ) After that , with Yuvraj there , there was always a chance and he got good support from the chunkily built Powar. But when Turbinator got out and Patel came in , there looked to be no hope - Patel looked a classic # 11 . However , a bit like Klusener in the 1999 semi-final , Yuvraj did all the hard work - a fortuitous 4 behind , a sumptuous off drive and a simple 2 of 3 was needed - it had to be a 2 because leaving Patel on strke to score the winner would have been an abrogation of duty. I never saw the re-run of the fatal last ball, but at the match it looked a full toss down leg and therefore it was amazing when it became apparent that Bravo had redeemed himself at the last chance saloon.

Really thought India let Windies off the hook - Sarwan was obdurate but never in control but amassed 25 in the last 3-4 overs. Whereas early on Agarkar has 7 overs for 5 runs - with Windies struggling , I'd have bowled both Agarkar and Pathan ( who was also bowling well ) right through . Too often players are saved for the end when , no matter what , they get pummelled - I know it's difficult bowling at the end but if you bowl a team out , there's no issue. As it was Agarkar went for 20 in his last 3 when he did come back. I think if he'd kept bowling early on , it would have increased the pressure and perhaps brought more wickets.

199 looked 30/40 more than was likely at 87-4 after 25.

However , not to be overly critical, Windies bowled and fielded extremely well - useful when Duane Smith comes on as a sub . Gayle and Samuels were very effective. Wondered if they'd made a mistake by not bringing back Edwards ( 7 overs 1 for 19 ) and turning to Bravo , but guess the logic is that Bravo is more thinking and more likely to get a wicket ( slower ball , etc ) whereas Edwards can be fast and erratic ( wides , no balls , nicks to the boundary ) .

Anyway cricket was the winner and everyone was in happy mood at the end ( apart from the numerous Indians , whose earlier feelings of invincibility had long subsided ).