The first semi final of the Road safety World series at Raipur turned out to be a high scoring thriller . India batting first totalled a challenging 218 /3 in 20 overs. Sehwag started in typical whirlwind fashion trying to smash almost every ball and scored an electrifying 35 off 17 balls with his well known aggression playing exciting and high risk shots with ease before Tino Best got him with a slower delivery caught and bowled. After Sehwag’s exit , Sachin took over the scoring responsibility and started to find the gaps with ease with his strokes . He was driving and pulling really well as he looked good for a century till a well taken catch at deep third man just inches off the ropes ended his fine knock of 65 off 42 balls . Kaif (27) accelerated well after a slow start but it was the Yusuf Pathan (37 off 20 balls) and Yuvraj Singh blockbuster at the end which swept the fans away as Yuvraj in particular unleashed six sixes in his destructive 49 notout off 20 balls to take India to a big score of 218. For Windies legends Tino Best took 2/25.
However , the West Indies looked in no mood to give up easily . Dwayne Smith played a blazing knock of 63 off just 36 balls with brutal hitting to terrorise an ordinary looking Indian bowling . Deonarine (59) held the innings together but it was Brian Lara ‘s brilliance scoring 46 off 28 deliveries which swept the crowd off their feet as they were treated to a masterclass from the 51 year old maestro who is even 6 years older than Sachin . Beautiful use of the feet and dazzling strokeplay in front of the wicket , stepping out and lifting the ball into the stands , Lara looked in menacing touch as his innings almost got West Indies within striking distance before Vinay Kumar’s slower ball brought his exit much to the relief of the Indian team . After that the West Indies challenge petered out and India won by 12 runs in a great final over from Irfan Pathan . Vinay Kumar had returns of 2/26 and was one of the bowling heroes
Yuvraj Singh for his match defining knock of 49 off 20 balls took the man of the match award.
India will play the winners of other semi finals between Sri Lanka and South Africa in the title round .
INDL 218/3 (20 Ovs)
WIL 206/6 (20 Ovs)
Dwayne Smith 63(36)
Vinay Kumar 2/26
Pragyan Ojha 1/24