West Indies didn’t look like they would beat India until the penultimate ball of the match. That was when MS Dhoni, who had laboured to 54 off a whopping 114 balls decided to try and lift it over long on. It was full and Dhoni could not get enough elevation on it and went straight down the throat of Alzarri Joseph at long on instead. Ravindra Jadeja had departed just a few balls earlier and Dhoni’s wicket signaled the end of India’s deep batting order. India fell 11 runs short of a target of 190 runs.
India lost their first wicket in the third over in the form of Shikhar Dhawan. The next was that of Virat Kohli who was done by a short ball and was caught behind. He was the first man to fall to his West Indian counterpart Jason Holder. Nearly six overs later, Dinesh Karthik, who replaced the misfiring Yuvraj Singh, fell to Alzarri Joseph. India had made 47 runs by then and MS Dhoni came to the crease.
The loss of wickets didn’t seem to affect India and they continued maintaining a slow but steady pace to the innings. Ajinkya Rahane got his fifty in that time. He then went on to be dismissed by Devendra Bishoo and it was then that West Indies must have got a sniff of actually winning the match.
Dhoni stayed at the crease as he saw Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya depart. The slow pitch and a difficulty in getting his timing right meant that he ended up getting to the slowest half-century of his career. It came off a whopping 108 balls. Even then, with him and Ravindra Jadeja in the middle, there was little doubt of India managing to see this through. Jadeja then went for a big shot at a time when India only needed to steal singles. It went straight down the throat of Kieran Powell and a look at Dhoni’s face and Virat Kohli in the dressing room showed that they weren’t very impressed by Jadeja’s decision. It brought out Kuldeep Yadav, batting for the very first time in India colours. Soon, Dhoni was dismissed and Jason Holder wiped out the remains of the Indian batting line up in the final over.
West Indies are yet to cross the 200-run mark in this series and the trend continued in this match as they were restricted to making just 189 in their innings.
It was a rare victory for the struggling West Indies. India still lead the series 2-1 and if West Indies can somehow match this performance, they may just eke out a draw, a result that was, before this series, considered almost as impossible as West Indies winning this match at the halfway mark.
To be updated…