West Indies stormed in to the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2006, after surprising India with a three-wicket win. India has now lost six of their eight encounters with West Indies in 2006. By beating India, West Indies became the first team from Group â€˜Aâ€™ to qualify for the semi-finals. Coming in to this tournament as â€˜underdogsâ€™, the young West Indian team has surprised every one with their performance. Last week, they beat Australia by 10 runs in a scintillating thriller that saw the young West Indian fast bowler Jerome Taylor pick up the first hat-trick for his country in one-day internationals.
After winning the toss, the West Indian captain, Brain Lara, asked India to bat first, in spite of the fact that the team batting first won the previous two matches in the tournament. Indians failed to capitalize the advantage of batting first, scoring only 223 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 50 overs, after a late flourish of runs from Mahendra Singh Dhoniâ€™s bat, without which India would have scored much less. The West Indian batsmen began the run chase fluently, with Chris Gayle continuing to taunt India with his completely unorthodox batting display. He was dismissed after scoring a quick-fire 34, which gave a good start to his team. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who was declared as the man-of-the-match and Ramnaresh Sarwan guided West Indies to safety with well-crafted half-centuries. Marlon Samuels hit the winning boundary for this team in the final over, after a brief stutter at the end, which saw four West Indian wickets falling for seven runs.
India and Australia would now battle for a place in semi-finals at Mohali, this Sunday, in a do-or-die match.