LONDON, (Reuters) – Shikhar Dhawan’s classy unbeaten 102 led India to an emphatic eight-wicket victory over West Indies today and a place in the Champions Trophy semi-finals.
Dhawan continued his impressive form to guide his team to their target of 234 with more than 10 overs to spare in the Group B match at the Oval and confirm Pakistan’s elimination from the tournament.
West Indies made 233 for nine thanks largely to an explosive innings of 56 not out off 35 balls by Darren Sammy who smashed four sixes and five fours in the last four overs to lift his side to a respectable total.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and put West Indies into bat in overcast conditions.
Chris Gayle struck four powerful boundaries but the West Indies dangerman was out for 21, well caught at first slip by a leaping Ravichandran Ashwin off pace bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.
Johnson Charles started timing the ball sweetly and dominated a second-wicket partnership of 78 with Darren Bravo.
Charles hit eight fours and two towering sixes, reaching his fifty from 46 balls before being deceived by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and trapped lbw for 60.
Jadeja then removed Marlon Samuels lbw and had Ramnaresh Sarwan caught by wicketkeeper Dhoni down the leg side to rip the heart out of the West Indies batting order.
Bravo made 35 and his half brother Dwayne 25 but West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals and looked likely to be bowled out for under 200.
Sammy was joined by Kemar Roach with the score on 182 for nine in the 46th over and the former captain launched a withering assault on the Indian bowlers.
He bludgeoned a succession of boundaries mainly straight down the ground and the pair added 51 with Roach not contributing a single run.
Jadeja claimed two more wickets to complete excellent figures of five for 36, his first five-wicket haul in one-day internationals.
India started quickly in reply and openers Dhawan, who made 114 in the opening match of the tournament against South Africa, and Rohit Sharma shared a fluent century partnership in just 16 overs.
Sharma reached his 50, including seven fours, but he was out for 52 edging spinner Sunil Narine to stand-in wicketkeeper Charles.
Virat Kohli struck four sweet fours before he was bowled by Narine for 22 but Dhawan, who survived two dropped catches, batted beautifully, punishing short balls with wristy cuts and pulls and driving smoothly through the covers.
After a brief interruption for rain with India on 204 for two, Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik extended their third-wicket partnership to 109 to steer India home.
Dhawan reached his second one-day international century with an extravagant cut for six off Dwayne Bravo and Karthik hit the winning boundary to finish unbeaten on 51.
West Indies must beat South Africa in their final match to join India in the semi-finals.
C.Gayle c Ashwin b Kumar 21
J.Charles lbw b Jadeja 60
DM.Bravo st Dhoni b Ashwin 35
M.Samuels lbw b Jadeja 1
R.Sarwan c Dhoni b Jadeja 1
DJ.Bravo c Jadeja b Yadav 25
K.Pollard c Kumar b Sharma 22
D.Sammy not out 56
S.Narine c Karthik b Jadeja 2
R.Rampaul b Jadeja 2
K.Roach not out 0
Extras (2w 4b 2lb) 8
TOTAL (for nine wickets, 50 overs) 233
Fall: 1-25 2-103 3-105 4-109 5-140 6-163 7-171 8-179 9-182
Bowling: Kumar 8-0-32-1 Yadav 9-0-54-1 Sharma 10-1-43-1
Ashwin 9-2-36-1 Kohli 4-0-26-0 Jadeja 10-2-36-5
S.Dhawan not out 102
R.Sharma c Charles b Narine 52
V.Kohli b Narine 22
D.Karthik not out 51
Extras (5w 4b) 9
TOTAL (for two wickets, 39.1 overs) 236
Fall: 1-101 2-127
Bowling: Roach 6-0-47-0 Rampaul 6-0-28-0 Narine 10-0-49-2
Sammy 4-0-23-0 DJ Bravo 5-0-36-0 Samuels 4-0-17-0 Pollard