Windies slump to record defeat after batting meltdown

Jason Holder

MUMBAI, India, CMC – Captain Jason Holder’s unbeaten half-century spared West Indies embarrassment but they still suffered a record 224-run drubbing, as India registered their largest-ever victory over a Test-playing nation in the fourth One-Day International here yesterday.

Chasing a mammoth 378 at Brabourne Stadium after opener Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu blasted high quality hundreds, West Indies slumped to 20 for three in the sixth over and never recovered, bundled out in the end for 153 in the 37th over, to also record their heaviest-ever defeat to the Indians.

At 77 for seven in the 19th over, the Caribbean side were staring at one of their lowest totals in five years and potentially their ninth total under 100, but Holder stroked a responsible unbeaten 54 to help his escape humiliation.

The top order imploded with two needless run outs but the rest of the innings was wrecked by left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed who ripped out the middle order with three for 13 and left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who polished off the tail with three for 42.

Rohit had earlier lashed a sizzling 162 off 137 deliveries with 20 fours and four sixes while Rayudu hit exactly 100 from 81 balls, including eight fours and four sixes as India, choosing to bat first, embarked on a run-spree to rattle up 377 for five – their second highest-ever total against the Caribbean side.

The pair put on a rollicking 211 for the the third wicket after Shikhar Dhawan (38) and captain Virat Kohli (16) had fallen after getting starts, leaving India on 101 for two in the 17th over.

Left-hander Dhawan again looked ominous in striking four fours and two sixes off 40 balls before pulling seamer Keemo Paul to Kieran Powell at short mid-wicket in the 12th over.

And Kohli, with a century in each of his previous three innings, perished cheaply this time around when he nicked a prod at one from Kemar Roach (2-74) which seamed and was taken behind.

Rohit then dominated the Windies bowling, gathering his half-century off 60 balls with a pull forward of square off Paul, before reaching triple figures off another 38 balls when he punched left-arm spinner Fabian Allen to the point boundary in the 33rd over.

He required 33 more deliveries to raise his 150 in the 43rd over but then fell eight balls later to off-spinner Ashley Nurse, top-edging to Chandrapaul Hemraj at short third man.

Rayudu, meanwhile, reached his half-century off 51 balls in the 37th over before speeding to his third ODI hundred off only another 29 deliveries.

He was run out shortly afterwards by Allen’s direct hit at the bowler’s end in the 48th over but India still plundered 116 runs from the last 10 overs.

Faced with a daunting task, West Indies wilted under the pressure, and there was never any real doubt about the outcome once wickets started tumbling.     Hemraj (14) drove pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar tamely to Rayudu at cover in the fifth over with 20 runs on the board and disaster followed when leading run-scorer Shai Hope (0) and opener Kieran Powell (4) were both run out in the space of five deliveries with no runs added.

First, Hope failed to beat Kuldeep’s direct hit at the bowler’s end from short mid-wicket as he scampered a quick single and Powell was left stranded by Marlon Samuels, leaving Kohli to throw the stumps at the non-striker’s end from close range.

Shimron Hetmyer (13) played down the wrong line and was lbw to Khaleel Ahmed in the 10th over and 13 balls later with two runs added, Rovman Powell (1) missed a drive at the same bowler and had his off-stump rattled.

Samuels, short of runs in the series, struck three fours in 18 before edging a drive at Khaleel Ahmed to Rohit at slip in the 14th over and when Allen (10) nicked Kuldeep’s googly to give Rohit the second of three catches, West Indies were in tatters.

It fell to Holder to save face for the Windies and he did so admirably, facing 70 balls and striking a four and a couple of straight sixes – his 31-run, ninth wicket stand with Paul, who made 19 from 18 balls, proving the best of the innings.

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