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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 23:13 GMT 00:13 UK
Dravid ton leads India to victory
One-day international, Kingston: India 254-5 (44.5 overs) beat West Indies 251-6 (45 overs) by five wickets

Rahul Dravid
Dravid reached three figures off 99 deliveries
Captain Rahul Dravid made 105 off 102 balls to inspire India to a thrilling five-wicket win over West Indies in the first game of their one-day series.

Set a target of 252, the tourists reached 254-5 with one ball to spare when Mohammad Kaif drove Dwayne Bravo for four to finish on 66 not out.

After a rain-delayed start in Jamaica, West Indies had totalled 251-6 from 45 overs thanks to Chris Gayle's 123.

But it was all in vain as Dravid led the reply with two sixes and 10 fours.

West Indies, who went into the game fresh from a 5-0 win over Zimbabwe, paid the penalty for some sloppy fielding errors after reducing India to 89-3.

Kaif was dropped by both captain Brian Lara and Fidel Edwards as he and Dravid put on 123 in 21 overs for the fourth wicket.

Dravid was eventually caught on the long-on boundary in the 39th over off Bravo, who also accounted for Mahendra Singh Dhoni in similar fashion after he raced to 18 off 11 balls.

It was a great match
West Indies skipper Brian Lara

When Dhoni departed, India still needed 19 from the remaining two and a half overs but Kaif and Suresh Raina saw it through to give their team a 1-0 lead in the best of five series.

The fact that a game was played at all was a tribute to the groundstaff after two to three inches of rain fell on Sabina Park the previous night.

Dravid opted to put West Indies after winning the toss as India went into the match with a side containing four seam bowlers - Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, RP Singh and Ajit Agarkar, supported by spinner Harbhajan Singh.

But Gayle was soon enjoying himself at Pathan and Patel's expense as a series of powerful strokes carried him to a 46-ball fifty.

The introduction of Agarkar and Harbhajan, however, checked the scoring rate as Agarkar ended an opening partnership of 87 by having Runako Morton caught behind for 23 and Harbhajan had Ramnaresh Sarwan lbw for two.

Lara helped add 80 for the third wicket, making 35 before driving a ball from Patel straight to the cover fielder.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Mohammad Kaif
The Sabina Park scoreboard provided a splash of colour

Gayle then brought up his 12th one-day hundred and struck two sixes and 18 fours in total before a catch from Dravid off Agarkar (2-38) brought his innings to a close in the 40th over.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul (18), Marlon Samuels (10) and Carlton Baugh (12 not out) made useful contributions to life the total past 250.

But India were soon up and running strongly in response as Virender Sehwag and Dravid opened up with a stand of 55 off nine overs.

Sehwag was run out for 22 as he attempted a second run after Samuels had dropped him at long-off and Indian then suffered a further double setback when left-armer Ian Bradshaw removed Pathan (one) and Yuvraj Singh (12).

West Indies were unable to disturb Dravid's concentration, however, as he and Kaif laid the foundation for a successful run chase.

India have now won 11 of their last 13 one-day matches.

SEE ALSO
Chappell hails captain's innings
19 May 06 |  International Teams
India take easy win over Jamaica
17 May 06 |  Cricket
India hopeful of Caribbean win
13 May 06 |  Cricket
India in West Indies 2006
24 Sep 05 |  Future tour dates


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