Dhoni, spinners help India secure massive victory

West Indies, ODI, India

A yet another dismal effort with the bat helped India cruise to a comfortable victory in Antigua in the third One-Day International (ODI) on Friday (June 31), as the hosts fell short by 93 runs in their pursuit of India’s 251.

After opting to bowl first under conditions which provided significant assistance to the bowlers, West Indies made a solid statement early on by dismissing Shikhar Dhawan (2) and Virat Kohli (11) cheaply. Dhawan played an uppercut that landed in the hands of boundary rider, while Kohli handed a catch gully after misreading a bounce on Holder’s delivery.

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Rahane slowed down after 19 off the first 19 balls he faced, and forged a key stand with Yuvraj Singh (39) before the latter was adjudged LBW off Devendra Bishoo. West Indies still had the upper hand, with India at 100-3 after 27 overs. Then came India’s prime partnership; Dhoni (78) and Rahane (72) combined for a 70-run stand off 96 balls to uplift the sluggish tempo of their innings and set the base for an assault in the slog overs. Dhoni found an explosive partner in form of Kedar Jhadav (40*), as they both added 81 in the last 7.4 overs to take India to a fighting total.

Bishoo was the pick of the bowlers for the home side, picking up 1-38 in his 10 overs, while skipper Holder returned figures of 2-56.

In reply, Umesh Yadav struck in his first over after he ran through the defenses of Ewin Lewis. That brought Hope brothers, Shai and Kyle, who added 45 for the second wicket to provide West Indies with some sort of stability at the top. But Hardik Pandya brought India back on top by dismissing both brothers with targeted short pitch stuff. Kuldeep Yadav added miseries to the visitors camp after outfoxing Roston Chase with a googly to leave the visitors reeling at 69/4.

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Jason Mohammed (40) and Rovman Powell (30) added 54 runs together after the fall of Holder to register last bit of resistance, but it was ended after Powell tried to slog Kuldeep in an attempt to break the shackles, giving him his second wicket.

Kuldeep and Ashwin picked up three wickets each, while Pandya returned figures of 2-32.

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Match Summary:

India 251 for 4 (Dhoni 78*, Rahane 72) beat West  Indies 158 (Ashwin 3-28, Kuldeep 3-41) by 93 runs

Captains’ Comments:

“I think it was a clinical performance again. Early on there was quite a bit of moisture, it was a good toss to win, and they bowled really well. It was a good batting effort to get us to 250. The wicket played much better in the second innings. The bowlers created pressure and got breakthroughs at the right moments. It’s about putting your hand up at the right time, its about how many people can stand up and put in those performances. We’ll surely look into [making changes]. We have quite a few players who haven’t had a game in a while.” Virat Kohli, captain India, said.

“Bowlers did a hell of a job. We put in a real good effort in the first 10 overs. If there is any criticism, we gave away too many runs in the back end. We’ve got to come hard, we’ve got to address our batting. In the end we’ve got to bat well.” Jason Holder, captain West Indies, said.