November 22, 2013 2:12:29 am
Towards the end of the floodlit night,about 60,000 fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium chanted Sachiiin,Sachiiin as the Indian team put the finishing touches on their six-wicket win. In spite of the popular sentiment prevailing at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium,the air should have also resounded with the chorus of Viraaat,Viraaat and Rohiiit,Rohiiit. The spectators who got to watch this domineering show by the Indian team could have also celebrated the success of the spinners who set up this cakewalk.
Chasing 212 to win,India polished off the target in 35.2 overs,losing just four wickets,to go one-up in the three-match series. If not for late jitters when Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina (0) were dismissed in quick succession,the victory would have been even more emphatic.
For a side that has made a habit of posting or chasing down 300-plus totals,the paltry 211 that West Indies posted in 48.5 overs,wasnt going to pose a threat.
And a 133-run partnership between Rohit Sharma (72) and Kohli (86) for the second wicket ensured that the job was done without too much of a fuss.
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A little more discretion from Rohit could have given him a fourth consecutive international hundred. Maybe he became a tad overconfident as he tried to whack a short ball from Ravi Rampaul without being bothered to roll his wrists. Lendl Simmons took a simple catch at deep mid-wicket.
Kohli missed out on his 18th ODI hundred,though he joined Vivian Richards to be the fastest (114 innings) to reach 5,000 runs in this format. Once again,the two young stars of Indian cricket shone bright and complemented each other.
Kohli took the attack to the West Indies bowlers after Shikhar Dhawan (5) was caught behind to a Jason Holder delivery that shaped away in the fourth over.
But Kohli quelled the threat that emerged from the two-metre tall West Indies fast bowler with an effortless boundary through the covers and did the bulk of the scoring till spin was introduced in the 11th over.
Rohit takes on Narine
Once Sunil Narine came on,Rohit took charge and ensured that the off spinner didnt get the time to settle down. A flurry of boundaries came from his bat and India were on course for a win.
Narine would be disappointed to return with the figures of 1 for 57 in his 10 overs on a pitch that had plenty of cracks.
This 22-yard strip,however,came as a welcome change for the Indian bowlers who bled profusely during the series against Australia. It was slow,low and offered decent turn,and Ravindra Jadeja,part-time off-spinner Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin shared eight wickets between them.
Dwayne Bravo won the toss but things started off badly for his team as Chris Gayle was run out in the second ball of the innings. Gayle dabbed a length delivery from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and ran,but the bowler was very quick to react and broke the stumps with a direct hit which caught the opener short of his ground. Gayle fell badly,jarred his hamstring and had to be stretchered off.
West Indies seemed to have recovered from that early reverses with a 64-run partnership for the second wicket in 10 overs. Both Johnson Charles (42) and Marlon Samuels (24) were feasting on Jaydev Unadkats dibly-dobblies,but things changed quickly once the spinners were brought into the attack.
Jadeja accounted for Charles in his fourth ball,acrobatically holding on to a return catch. Then Raina castled Samuels with a quicker one that kept very low. West Indies were in trouble and Darren Bravos fighting 59 (77 balls) notwithstanding,they never recovered.
Raina added Lendl Simmons and Narsingh Deonarine to his kitty to return with his best ODI figures of 3 for 34. Jadeja snapped up Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy after getting rid of Charles to finish with 3 for 37. Ashwin removed Narine and Rampaul to clean up the tail.
The Indian spinners were allowed to settle down by the West Indies batters who played too many dot balls. They wanted to deal in boundaries but chose the wrong deliveries. A little later,Man of the Match Kohli and Rohit gave them a batting lesson.
Gayle out of series
Chris Gayles India tour is over following a left hamstring tear that he suffered when diving during an unsuccessful attempt to complete a single. The injury will take at least two to four weeks to heal, Dr Bipin Theruvil,who treated Gayle,was quoted as saying by PTI
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