Montego Bay: India were on the verge of a comprehensive win in their final warm-up game on Friday, against the West Indies. When the players went in for lunch, India were 62 for four in 14 overs, chasing a mere 86.
Virender Sehwag fell for a duck with the total on six. Robin Uthappa was unbeaten on 30 and one-drop Dinesh Karthik was on 23.
Earlier, the Indian bowling sent a strong warning to the rest of the world with a clinical decimation of the West Indian line-up.
Medium pacers, led by Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan shot out the hosts for 85 in a mere 25.5 overs.
Patel took four for 10 and Pathan picked three for 25 off six overs each.
Successful as Patel and Pathan were, the eye-catching players for the Indians still were opening bowlers Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar who applied early pressure with wickets of the home openers.
West Indian innings was notable for its collapse with six wickets crashing for nine runs in 69 balls.
The conditions were not suited to batting as dampness on the surface afforded swing to bowlers but home captain Brian Lara still went ahead and elected to bat, probably sensing that the pitch would only get slower as the day progressed.
But he probably had not bargained for the spineless home batting with he contributing the most with 22 runs.
Shivnaraine Chanderpaul (6) attempted a flick off Zaheer and Chris Gayle (6) edged a defensive prod off Agarkar as West Indians lost its openers off successive balls at the total of 14 runs.
Ramnaresh Sarwan (13) and Brian Lara (22) seemed to have put things in order with a stand of 39 runs for the third wicket but it was not to be.
The introduction of Pathan in the 14th over and Patel in the next really put the skids under the West Indian feet.
Lara started the slide when, seemingly confused, he offered a return catch to Pathan in his follow through. Lara’s 22 off 34 balls were laced with four delectable boundaries.
Sarwan (13) departed at the other end when he drove a catch off Patel in the hands of second slip fielder robin Uthappa.
The bottom now came off with wickets falling in a heap, both Pathan and Patel making hay amidst some thoughtless home batting.
Meanwhile, India vice-captain Sachin Tendulkar sat out of the match owing to niggle. Sachin has a niggle and Sreesanth misses out,” captain Rahul Dravid said at the toss.
Tendulkar, 33, who holds the records for most one-day runs, caps and hundreds, is set to play in his fifth World Cup. His fitness would be crucial for the hopes of the 1983 champions. Team manager Sanjay Jagdale, however, said there was nothing wrong with the batsman. (AGENCIES)