PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – A commanding century from captain Virat Kohli and incisive seam-bowling propelled India to a convincing 102-run victory over West Indies in the fourth match of the Celkon Mobile Cup tri-nation ODI series at Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.
Set a revised target of 274 off 39 overs, in a rain-affected match, West Indies crumbled for 171 in 34 overs, in response to India’s 311 for 7 off 50 overs, as pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3 for 29), Ishant Sharma (2 for 30) and Umesh Yadav (3 for 32) ripped apart the innings with testing line and length bowling in the late afternoon.
The win allowed India to register their first points of the series, after they were previously defeated by West Indies and Sri Lanka in matches in Jamaica. India took four points for the win and a bonus point as they restricted West Indies to under 200.
West Indies still lead the series with 9 points from two wins, while Sri Lanka are on four.
Chasing the target, after Kohli had given the Indian innings great momentum with 102, off 83 balls, West Indies seemed capable of making a match of the contest, when they were 56 for two after 10 overs and with opener Johnson Charles scoring freely.
However, after a 90-minute break for rain, the Indian bowlers took control as the opposing batsmen seemed out of sorts. Only an entertaining rear-guard effort between paceman Kemar Roach (34 off 49 balls) and spinner Sunil Narine (21 off 33 balls), where they put on 50 for the ninth wicket, delayed the Indian victory.
Marlon Samuels (6), Keiron Pollard (0) and Charles (45) were all dismissed in the space of 21 balls , soon after the resumption, as West Indies added just 13 runs and were reduced to 69 for five.
Charles, who put on 39 for the third wicket with Samuels, top-scored for the hometeam but fell to a soft dismissal as he attempted to pull a rising ball from Sharma and was caught by Raina at square-leg. His 45 came off 39 balls and included six fours and two sixes.
Once Narine was ninth out, caught attempting a boundary off Jadeja, the end came quickly as Roach was bowled two balls later, giving Jadeja his second wicket in the game.
India’s challenging total of over 300 in their innings was built on a crucial opening stand of 123 between Shikhar Dhawan (69) and Rohit Sharma (46). They played positively to raise the 100 off 22 overs and from that solid platform, Kohli then launched an assault on the West Indian bowlers and registered his 14th ODI century.
Kohli’s hundred came off 81 balls and included 13 fours and two sixes. He was out off the last ball of the innings, after also steering the team to 60 runs off their last five overs.
India came into the match desperately needing a win to keep their hopes alive and the total, in excess of 300, seemingly gave their bowlers a lift of confidence which helped them to whip the hometeam before a capacity crowd.