India started off their tour of the Caribbean with a five-wicket win in the first ODI at Kingston. Two days later the teams met at the same venue. On a sluggish pitch India not unexpectedly put West Indies in to bat. Rahul Dravid's decision yielded early rewards with Chris Gayle and Runako Morton falling with just a run on the board.
Ramnaresh Sarwan however took control with an innings that his captain Brian Lara described as 'extraordinary'. Wickets fell at regular intervals but the elegant right hander not only stood firm but also scored at a nifty rate. Sarwan took 48 deliveries to reach double figures but upped the pace towards the end.
The fact that the best score after his 98 not out off 138 balls with seven fours and a six was Carlton Bough's 21 underlines Sarwan's class act. West Indies were restricted to 198 for nine in 50 overs. As the Indians too discovered, batting on this slow pitch was not exactly a breeze. Wickets fell at regular intervals and at 60 for four after 17 overs, West Indies were right back in the game.
Two left handers Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina set about repairing the damage with a fifth wicket partnership of 64 in 18.2 overs but when Raina (27) departed, West Indies, by taking the wickets of MS Dhoni and Ajit Agarkar, moved into the favourites circle. At 134 for seven in the 39th over, India were gasping for breath but Yuvraj was still there and now like Sarwan he took charge.
With Romesh Pawar (12) providing him able support Yuvraj batted in exemplary fashion farming the strike and hitting the odd boundary. Powar departed after an eighth wicket stand of 43 runs and the match moved towards a pulsating climax. Harbhajan Singh gave Gayle a return catch in the 49th over with the Indians still needing 12 runs for victory. Last man Munaf Patel held on grimly but everything now depended on Yuvraj.
India needed 10 off the last five balls and Yuvraj in a typically aggressive gesture hammered Dwayne Bravo for two successive fours. India 197 for nine after 43.3 overs. Two to win with three balls to be bowled and Yuvraj on strike with a masterly 93 off 120 balls with eight fours and a six.
The match should have been India's but Bravo sent down a near perfect slower yorker that bowled Yuvraj and West Indies were home by the narrowest margin possible - only the 18th instance of a one run victory in ODIs. The exciting finish saw a palpable change in the fortunes of the West Indies for they did not look back and won the next three matches to take the series 4-1.