Tri-series: India beat Windies to stay alive in tournament
Port of Spain: India kept alive their chances of qualifying for the Tri-Nation Series final as they thrashed the West Indies team by 102 runs (D/L method) at the Queen’s Park Oval here on Friday.
Put into bat, stand-in skipper Virat Kohli blasted India to 311/7 in 50 overs with a terrific 102 off 83 balls against which the hosts could only manage 171 in 34 overs after the target was revised to 274 from 39 overs due to a long rain delay during the West Indies innings.
The hosts still lead the standings with nine points while Sri Lanka and India are both tied on five each, with India bagging four points for winning and one bonus point Friday. However, Sri Lanka have a better net run rate which keeps them second in the table.
Rohit Sharma (46) and Shikhar Dhawan (69) provided India with a solid start as they struck a 123-run opening wicket partnership. The duo laid the foundation hitting the Windies bowlers for 13 boundaries and two sixes together before the left-handed Dhawan was caught at deep square leg, which started a middle-order batting collapse.
Sharma also got out soon and was followed by Suresh Raina (10), Dinesh Karthik (6), Murali Vijay (27) and Ravindra Jadeja (2), none of whom could capitalise on the start.
The West Indies bowlers, smelling blood, also capitalised on the chance by bringing down the run rate.
However, leading his country for the second time, Kohli stuck to his ground and kept the scoreboard ticking.
After Jadeja got out with the score 221/6 in the 42nd over, in came Ravichandran Ashwin who provided excellent support to his captain and the pair took India out from a spot of bother to a 300-par score.
Kohli and Ashwin struck a 90-run seventh wicket partnership off just 50 balls to power India to 311. In the process, Delhi boy Kohli scored his 14th One-Day International (ODI) ton which included 13 boundaries and two sixes.
Tino Best scalped two wickets while Kemar Roach, Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard chipped in with a wicket each.
In reply, the hosts never took off as their explosive opener Chris Gayle was caught behind cheaply for 10 runs.
Left hand bat Darren Bravo (1) also got caught in first slip before rain stopped play with the score at 56/2 in 10 overs.
After the delay and with a revised target, opener Johnson Charles (45) looked to lead the chase but, first lost partners and then got out himself.
The rain had also changed the dynamics of the pitch and the Indian bowlers chanced upon it to regularly clinch Windies wickets, so much so that the hosts were six down before they even reached 100.
The middle-order completely collapsed with only skipper Dywane Bravo (14) getting double figures.
However from 113/8, Kemar Roach (34) and Sunil Narine (21) knocked a few lusty blows to try and deny India the bonus point, scoring 58 runs for the eighth wicket before Jadeja took the last two scalps to seal the deal for India.
Indian pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/29), Umesh Yadav (3/32) and Ishant Sharma (2/30) were in their elements as they not only took wickets frequently, they were also quite economical.
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