I still feel that flutter when I hear Elvis Presley belt out Blue Christmas. I was too young when I first heard it to really understand what it was about.
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Indians strangle WI in opener
An out of sorts West Indies lost to India for the first time in World T20 cricket yesterday as Caribbean team began defence of the title at the Shere-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
A shambolic display not befitting champions with the bat saw the West Indies set India an inadequate target off 130 runs for victory, which they duly got for the loss of three wickets with two balls to spare.
The vibes among the players when they left the Ruposhi Hotel in Dhaka was great, as one could have seen the confidence oozing. However, what transpired on that drive from Dhaka to Mirpur saw a transformed team, as they played cowardly cricket at times, facing the Asian giants.
India had never defeated West Indies in two attempts at World T20 cricket but they were able to right that wrong in front of a near capacity crowd at the wonderful modern stadium.
Chris Gayle (34) and Lendl Simmons (27) provided the brunt of the runs which was subsidised by 14 extras and despite a wicket in the first over for leg-spinner Samuel Badree who dismissed Shikhar Dhawan, the Indians never had an anxious moment.
Both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma scored half centuries in a second wicket partnership of 106 which effectively sealed the match.
The attractive Kohli and the classy Sharma thrilled the Indian fans who flew over for the tournament with an array of delightful strokes. Kohli started the ball rolling with a four and six off Badree and Sharma joined in.
The two joined forces with the score on one, and their 100-run partnership came off just 74 balls.
Kohli was first to a half century off 34 balls and Sharma took 44 balls. Kohli’s 54 came off 41 balls with five fours and a six.
Sharma finished unbeaten on 62 off 55 balls with five fours and two sixes.
The win put India on top of Group A with two victories and they now need just one win against either Australia or hosts Bangladesh to make it into the semis.
Earlier, India won the toss MS Dhoni inserted the West Indies who were up against it from ball one, as runs were very difficult to come by in the face off impeccable line and length bowling.
The power play brought just 24 runs, as the Bhuvneshwar Kumar swung the ball appreciably in the heavy atmosphere. Smith looked totally at bay and struggled for 11 runs from 29 balls, before Ashwin put him out of his misery, having him caught and bowl with the score at 38 in the eighth over.
Midway through the innings the West Indies were 46 for one.
Bogged down by the slow over rate, West Indies failed to absorb the pressure. Marlon Samuels called Gayle for an ill-advised single to short third man and he was found short of his ground. Gayle walked off for 34 off 33 balls with one four and two sixes. The big Jamaican was dropped twice (0 and 19).
Samuels struggled to 18 before leg-spinner Amit Mishra left him stranded as he advanced down the pitch, and Dhoni did the rest. Dwayne Bravo was palpably out lbw to the next ball to leave West Indies 74 for four in the 15th over.
The Windies had Simmons and Sunil Narine to thank for their eventual score as the pair struck three sixes in the final over that cost 21. Simmons made 27 off 22 balls with a four and two sixes.
West Indies vs India
West Indies inns
D Smith c & b Ashwin 11
C Gayle run out 34
M Samuels st Dhoni b Mishra 18
L Simmons c Dhawan b Jadeja 27
D Bravo lbw Mishra 0
D Sammy c Rohit b Jadeja 11
A Russell c Kohli b Jadeja 7
S Narine not out 7
D Ramdin not out 0
Extras lb1, w12, nb1 14
Total for 7 wkts (20) 129
Fall of wkts: 38, 62, 74, 74, 97, 108, 121.
Bowling: B Kumar 3-0-3-0, M Shami 3-0-27-0, R Ashwin 4-0-24-1, A Mishra 4-0-18-2, S Raina 2-0-8-0, R Jadeja 4-0-48-3.
R Sharma not out 62
S Dhawan lbw Badree 0
V Kohli b Russell 54
Y Singh c Gayle b Samuels 10
S Raina not out 1
Extras w2, nb1 3
Total 3 wkts (19.4) 130
Fall of wkts:1, 107, 129.
Bowling: S Badree 4-0-28-1, K Santokie 4-0-27-0, S Narine 4-0-20-0, D Bravo 1-0-12-0, D Sammy 1-0-9-0, M Samuels 3.4-0-22-1, A Russell 2-0-12-1.
Result: India won by 7wkts.
India 2 pts, West Indies 0.
Man of the match: Amit Mishra.