ST LUCIA // India survived the pressure of a rain-curtailed match on Friday and are now only one step away from a rare One-day International series victory in the Caribbean. They face West Indies in the fourth and final ODI today at the Beausejour Cricket Ground confident in the knowledge that they cannot lose the series. The visitors won the rain- affected third game by six wickets at the same venue to take an 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
In the bilateral ODI series, India have only once beat the West Indies on five previous trips to the Caribbean, 2-1 in a three-match contest seven years ago. The Indian captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, praised the overall effort by his side for prevailing in the match, despite having to overcome two weather interruptions. "It was getting tight, and from our experience in Twenty20 cricket, we never felt under any pressure, although we required 11 from the last six balls," said Dhoni.
The concern of a poor start was erased for the first time in the series when the openers, Dinesh Karthik and Gautam Gambhir, provided a solid 95-run stand. "We are a side who really rely on our opening batsman to give us the momentum," said Dhoni. "Once we get a good start, we really have the firepower to capitalise on it, and get a big total on the board." The West Indies, however, are determined to finish with the win that would tie the series.
"We are very disappointed about the way we lost the third ODI," said West Indies captain Chris Gayle. Gayle felt the final target was decent. "We thought we had a chance of defending the target because it's a big outfield," said Gayle. "But their openers gave them a good start. They were running hard between the wickets and putting a lot of pressure on our fielders, so we will have to work on this and see if we can squeeze their batsmen a bit more in the outfield."