CUTTACK : The grand finale lived up to its billing. So did Team India. Under lights at Barabati Stadium, the dew was always going to be a major factor and given an advantage to deal with, a target of 316 in 50 overs.
Virat Kohli led the chase from the front with a well-made 85 as India defeated West Indies by 4 wickets in the series decider in Cuttack on Sunday. With the impressive win, India sealed the series 2-1, ending the year on a high.
Chasing a challenging 316-run target, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma (63) laid a strong foundation with a 122-run opening wicket partnership. But then well-set Rohit departed playing a loose shot off Jason Holder. Rahul played beautifully for his 77 but fell after miscuing a pull.
Shreyas Iyer (7), Rishabh Pant (7) and Kedar Jadhav (9) had a disappointing outing as their quick wickets dented India’s charge. But Kohli at the other end stayed strong. With the help of 9 fours, Kohli brilliantly anchored the innings and took India closer to the target.
Kohli unfortunately got out in the 47th over but Ravindra Jadeja (39* off 31 balls) and Shardul Thakur (17* off 6 balls) finished off the chase for India with 8 balls to spare. A late cameo from Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja helped India chase down 316.
India’s top three – Rohit Sharma (63), KL Rahul (77) and Kohli (85) — fired in unison in a 316-run chase but it got slippery in the end when the Indian captain left the scene with 30 required off 23 balls. However, the Indian skipper couldn’t take his side across the finish line but Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur added crucial runs down the order to help India clinch the series 2-1, coming from behind.
Tied at 1-1, the three-match ODI series appeared to be safely in the hands of Virat Kohli, until KL Rahul (77) was rushed into a half-hearted pull shot against Alzarri Joseph on a short ball, leading to a procession of wickets. Hundred and sixty seven for one soon became 228 for five as Shreyas Iyer (7), Rishabh Pant (7) and Kedar Jadhav (9) fell playing poor shots as the Indian skipper looked on in anger from the other end. Kieron Pollard & Co looked primed for pulling off a heist.
Earlier, skipper Kieron Pollard saved his best and, along with a savage Nicholas Pooran, helped the West Indies post 315 for five. The Windies left it late with Nicholas Pooran (89) and skipper Kieron Pollard (74 not out off 51 balls) taking the Indian attack into smithereens stitching together a stand of 135 runs from 98 balls.
The Indian bowling attack that looked steady during the first 40 overs, was knocked for 118 runs in the last 10 overs. The Windies skipper smashed seven sixes and three fours en route to his unbeaten knock while Pooran stepped it up, hitting three sixes and 10 fours in his knock from 64 balls.
Drafted into the side in place of injured Deepak Chahar, the lanky 27-year-old Navdeep Saini from Delhi grabbed his maiden ODI wicket when he dismissed the in-form Shimron Hetmyer (37), who looked desperate to break free after the Windies were tied down to less than four runs an over midway into their innings.
Saini finished with 2 for 58 faltering at the death, while his senior partner Mohammed Shami took the prized scalp of Shai Hope, eight runs short of a third successive fifty-plus score, en route to his 1/66 which included two maiden overs.
Shardul Thakur (1/66) and Kuldeep Yadav (0/67) were taken to the cleaners by Pollard-Pooran duo during the back end of the innings, to provide that much-needed momentum.
Most successful 300+ chases in ODIs
- 17 India
- 11 England
- 10 Australia/ Sri Lanka
- 06 South Africa/ Pakistan
Highlights : India vs West Indies
- Virat Kohli (85 off 81 balls) led the chase from front to help India seal the series 2-1.
- Chasing a stiff 316-run target, KL Rahul (77) and Rohit Sharma (63) laid a strong platform with a 122-run opening wicket stand.
- Ravindra Jadeja (39*) and Shardul Thakur (17*) finished off the chase with 8 balls to spare.
- India’s top three — Rohit (63), Rahul (77) and Kohli (85) — fired in unison in a 316-run chase
- This was India’s 10th successive series win over the West Indies.