Kohli hundred batters Windies into series loss

KINGSTON, Jamaica CMC – West Indies were overpowered by a dazzling unbeaten hundred from India captain Virat Kohli, as they slumped to another series defeat with a heavy eight-wicket loss in the decisive fifth One-Day International here Thursday.

Entering the contest at Sabina Park on a high following their sensational victory in the fourth ODI five days ago, the Windies were brought down to earth by Kohli’s high class 111 not out which helped the Asian powerhouses easily overhaul their target of 206 in the 37th over and clinch a 3-1 series victory.

India captain Virat Kohli stylishly plays through the onside during his attractive hundred in the fifth ODI on Thursday. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

The century was Kohli’s 28th in ODIs and a record 18th in run chases, and provided the ideal finale for the series after he had struggled with failures in his previous two innings.

He struck 12 fours and two sixes in a 115-ball knock and put on 79 for the second wicket with opener Ajinkya Rahane who made 39 off 51 balls before adding a further 122 in an unbroken stand with Dinesh Karthik, who stroked an unbeaten 50 from 52 deliveries.

West Indies had earlier failed to capitalise on a strong start as their batting collapsed yet again and could only muster a hugely disappointing 205 for nine off their 50 overs.

The increasingly dependable Shai Hope gathered a top score of 51 off 98 balls while his older brother Kyle Hope chipped in with an authoritative 46 off 50 deliveries.

Captain Jason Holder slammed a frenetic 36 from 34 balls and all-rounder Rovman Powell, 31 from 32, but none of the top six could carry on to three figures.

Seamer Mohammed Shami claimed four for 48 while new-ball partner Umesh Yadav picked up three for 53 with his pace.

Opting to bat first on a good surface, West Indies appeared to be riding on the momentum of their recent win when they took the attack to India’s bowlers at the start.

Kyle lashed nine fours in an attacking knock, dominating a 39-run opening stand with left-hander Evin Lewis (9) before adding 37 for the second wicket with his younger brother.

Lewis never found his touch and lofted the 20th delivery he faced to mid-off where Kohli took the offering off seamer Hardik Pandya but Kyle put the Indians on the back foot with a pair of off-side boundaries in the fifth over off Umesh and another pair off Shami in the 10th over.

His gusto got the better of him in the 16th over when after taking two consecutive boundaries of Umesh, he attempted a third and was taken at short mid-wicket by Shikhar Dhawan off a sharp pull at 76 for two.

Roston Chase lasted one ball, plumb lbw to Umesh and Jason Mohammed added 39 for the third wicket with Shai Hope before slapping an innocuous delivery back to off-spinner Kedar Jadhav to perish for 16 at 115 for four in the 31st over.

Going at a run rate of well under four, the Windies were in need of impetus and got it from Holder who slammed four fours and six in a 48-run fifth wicket stand with Shai Hope.

The pair were wresting back control of the innings when Holder’s ambition cost him dearly, holing out to an excellent running catch at long-on by Dhawan off Shami in the 40th over.

His dismissal triggered a slide from which the Windies never really recovered as four wickets fell quickly for just 19 runs.

Shai struck five fours en route to raising his third half-century in the 38th over but skied a heave at Shami and watched as Rahane took a superb tumbling catch at mid-wicket in the 42nd over at 168 for six.

Shami quickly cleaned up Ashley Nurse without scoring and Devendra Bishoo for six, leaving Powell to slam a pair of sixes down the end to get the Windies past 200.

West Indies then got the early breakthrough they needed when the left-handed Dhawan tamely drove seamer Alzarri Joseph to Lewis at short cover to fall in the first over of India’s reply for four with five runs on the board.

But the hosts squandered the chance at another wicket in the fourth over when Bishoo put down Rahane on five at point off off Holder. The miss proved costly as the right-hander combined with Kohli to put the innings on solid footing, in a knock that contained five fours.

By time he played around a straight one from Bishoo and was lbw in the 19th over at 84 for two, India were well set and Kohli used the platform to plunder the Windies bowling.

He brought up his half-century off 67 balls with a cover-driven boundary off off-spinner Nurse in the 22nd over and then required only another 41 deliveries to reach three figures.

The right-hander stroked seamer Kesrick Williams to the wide long-on boundary to bring up the landmark before clearing the ropes at long on with off-spinner Chase to take his side over the line.

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