Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sehwag creates history - Sehwag Scored 215 for 147 balls in One day match!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Indian opener scores 219, the highest score in an ODI. India post 418-5 electing to bat.

Sehwag creates history - Sehwag Scored 215 for 147 balls in One day match!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Sehwag smashes highest ODI score; leads India to 418

50 overs India 418 for 5 (Sehwag 219, Gambhir 67, Raina 55) v West Indies

It took nearly 40 years for a batsman to score the first double-century in one-day international cricket. The second didn't even take two more. Virender Sehwag, the batsman most touted to break Sachin Tendulkar's record for the highest individual ODI score, didn't merely break it. He shattered it, and raised the bar so high that it's hard to imagine anyone, apart from Sehwag himself, raising it higher. Unlike Tendulkar in Gwalior, Sehwag wasn't running out of time as he raced towards 200 in Indore. He got there in the 44th over, and had made 219 off 149 balls by the time he was dismissed in the 47th. And in one of cricket's stranger coincidences, both ODI double-centuries were scored in the same Indian state - Madhya Pradesh - at venues less than 500 kilometres apart.

India did two things differently at the start of the fourth ODI against West Indies in Indore. They chose to bat first, after mixed results while chasing in the previous three games. They also opened with their strongest combination, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who will open in Australia, and pushed Parthiv Patel down the order. The upshot of those decisions was an opening partnership of 176 that began smoothly, picked up speed, and gathered the momentum of a runway train before it was eventually ended, inevitably, by a run-out.

India's chases in the previous three one-dayers had been crippled by poor starts - 8, 3 and 37. They hadn't had a century opening stand for 22 matches. The poor form of Sehwag and Gambhir was a concern ahead of the Tests in Australia. On a true pitch at the Holkar Stadium, with the ball coming on to the bat and flying off it, those worries were allayed. The boundaries flowed incessantly, first off Sehwag's bat but soon off both, the big shots were interspersed with numerous singles - many well-judged, many risky - and West Indies were unable to control a run-rate that stayed above seven after the 15th over.

A strong crowd continued the trend of resurging attendances during the home ODIs and they cheered the first boundary in the second over, when Sehwag flicked Ravi Rampaul's first ball for four - a treatment he would give three other West Indian bowlers. The first of five sixes came off Kemar Roach - a bouncer steered over the slip cordon and placed fine enough to avoid third man. Sehwag looked dangerous from the start.

Not Gambhir. Roach and Rampaul denied him room in the first few overs and pinned him to the crease with their lengths. He inside-edged past his stumps and struggled to pierce the off-side field. He changed his bat in the fourth over. In the next, after making only 3 off 15 balls, Gambhir finally had the width he needed and cut Roach to the point boundary. He half-edged, half-steered the next ball wide of the cordon, and was away.

Both batsmen, however, could have been dismissed on 20. Sehwag had given up hope of making his ground but Kieron Pollard missed the stumps from point, and Andre Russell, one of West Indies' best athletes, dropped Gambhir on his follow through. On either side of that let-off, Gambhir had found the boundary twice, flicking a half-volley and placing a full toss through cover. There were several more run-out opportunities, but it wasn't until the 23rd over that West Indies finally took one.

Gambhir began to steer, cut and drive through the off side frequently, going over fielders' heads and placing wide of the boundary riders. Seven of his first nine fours were in this region. Sehwag brought up the 50 stand in the ninth over by glancing Russell to the fine-leg boundary. India ended the mandatory Powerplay on 63 for 0.

The field spread after that but it didn't matter. Sehwag and Gambhir scored 45 runs between overs 11 and 15. This passage began with Sehwag hoisting the offspinner Sunil Narine's first ball over the long-on boundary. He then launched Darren Sammy's first inside out over extra cover. The 100 partnership came in the 15th over, when Gambhir glanced Narine to the fine-leg boundary. This passage ended with Sehwag hammering Narine again, this time into the stands beyond deep midwicket. The shot brought up his half-century off 41 balls.

The field came in for the bowling Powerplay and Gambhir immediately cut Roach through point, and then dabbed for a single to reach his half-century off 51 balls. The smash-and-dab combo was a feature of the partnership. The bowling Powerplay produced 41 runs.

Sehwag ran amok, plundering everyone. He raced to a century off only 69 balls, bringing up his first of hundred since the World Cup opener with a withering cut that hurt the fingers of the fielder at point before speeding to the boundary. The next ball, he ran Gambhir out, to a direct hit from Samuels.

Visibly upset with himself, Sehwag continued to punish West Indies, motoring at a pace that could fell a major record or two if he bats the distance.

Source: George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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