Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeecric Bureau
North Sound (Antigua): West Indies tasted victory for the first time in the series with an emphatic 103 runs victory over India on Monday in the fourth ODI at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
West Indies came into the fourth ODI with pride at stake whereas India, with series already in the bag, tried out bench strength looking for their 4th victory in a row.
A spirited bowling performance lead by leg spinner Anthony Martin, helped along the way by some poor shot selections by the Indian batsmen ensured a West Indian victory.
Anthony Martin was the pick of the bowlers taking 4 wickets, ending up with impressive figures of 10-0- 36-4. Last match’s hero Andre Russell came good with the ball this time around, scalping 3 wickets for just 16 runs in 7 overs. For India, Rohit Sharma provided a little bit of resistance with 39 runs but got out at the wrong time.
Put into bat, West Indies scored a competitive 249 for 8 owing to a late surge by man of the moment Andre Russell and timely half centuries by Kieron Pollard (70) and Lendl Simmons (67).
At the start of the match, Ishant Sharma playing his first ODI in the series drew first blood as he scalped Denza Hyatt for just 1 run with a short delivery in the second over.
Praveen Kumar then got the better of Ramnaresh Sarwan who was clearly struggling against the pace and swing to leave West Indies 2 wickets down in the 4th over itself. Sarwan was caught at point by Badrinath.
When it looked like Windies innings was moving steadily, Darren Bravo threw away his wicket, as in a bid to up the ante he was holed out at deep mid wicket off the bowling of Amit Mishra. He scored 15 runs facing 36 balls.
Lendl Simmons had waged a lone battle up the order reaching his fifty as he looked comfortable playing the Indian tweakers, nudging away the good ball and punishing the bad ones, but a direct hit from Manoj Tiwary cut short his vigil of a forceful 67 as Windies were left tottering with 5 wickets down.
As has been the norm in this series, Indian pacers enjoyed themselves up front restricting the run flow helping the spinners to choke the Windies batters further. But this time around the batsmen struck it out without crumbling to set up a challenging total for the visitors.
Pollard set the stage for the late slog with an enterprising 72-ball 70. He knitted a 96 run partnership with wicket keeper Carlton Baugh. Baugh played second fiddle to the giant in the same manner as he did in the third ODI with Andre Russell. He got out for a well made 39 in the 48th over.
Praveen finished with miserly figures of 10-3-37-3 with Mishra scalping two. His figures were ruined a bit by the big hitting Pollard.
Chasing the tricky total of 250, Manoj Tiwary and Parthiv Patel opened the innings for India as Kemar Roach started of the proceedings. Tiwary looked nervous in middle edging his way to two runs before being out edging, this time to keeper Baugh of the bowling of Sammy.
Sammy again struck, this time around adding Parthiv Patel’s wicket to his tally when he held on to a tough low catch.
Virat Kohli and Badrinath joined forces and set about steadying the Indian innings but Badri struggled at the wicket throughout and eventually got out to a rising Russell delivery, edging it to keeper Carlton Baugh. Badri scored 12 runs off 27 balls.
Local boy, Anthony Martin was introduced into the attack and he picked up Virat in his first over itself. Kohli was looking in good touch, timing the ball well before he was foxed into driving a wide ball from Martin to get stumped.
With tight bowling in the middle overs by Russell and Martin, the required run rate was steadily climbing and in a bid to up the ante, Suresh Raina got out owing to an over ambitious slog over long on. The situation demanded to hang in there and forge a partnership with in form batsmen Rohit Sharma but he failed to do so.
Then, Yusuf Pathan walked in and walked out immediately, as part-timer Lendl Simmons gave Windies a ray of hope in the match.
Anthony Martin picked up his 3rd wicket of the match as Sharma, who was running out of partners joined the long list of his team mates who got out trying reckless shots. With seven wickets down the jubilation of West Indian side was evident as they sensed victory for the first time in this series.
Ashwin and Mishra tried to stick it out in the middle but could not have avoided the inevitable. The tail was wrapped up rather easily by Russell and when the third umpire adjudged Ishant Sharma stump out, the wide smile of winning Captain Darren Sammy summed up the day for the hosts.
Going into the final ODI at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica West Indies would be at a high whereas India would be trying to avoid being complacent.