An all-round show by India helped them beat West Indies by 224 runs in the fourth ODI of the five-match series at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. The result meant India took a 2-1 lead in the series. The outcome could have been far worse but for Jason Holder who struck his seventh ODI fifty and remained unbeaten on 54 runs. The 224 run win margin is India’s third biggest ODI win while this is West Indies’ second biggest defeat.
West Indies had pushed India all the way in the first three ODIs on the back of their strong batting. But in the fourth ODI, on Monday, that came undone due to poor running and Khaleel Ahmed’s blistering bowling which saw him pick 3/13 before Kuldeep Yadav (3/42) cleaned the tail. Earlier, batting first, Rohit Sharma scored 162 runs and Ambati Rayudu 100 to put together 211 runs for the third wicket and take India to 337 runs. The bowlers ensured West Indies were bowled out for 153 runs on a batting friendly surface.
After three centuries in a row, Virat Kohli suffered a rare blip but Rohit was on mark to score big and Rayudu once against justified calls for permanent selection at the No. 4 spot. Rohit’s 21st ODI century came off 137 balls with the help of 20 fours and four sixes, while Rayudu decorated his 100-run knock with eight boundaries and four sixes.
In the 378 run chase, besides strong bowling effort, India were on the mark with the fielding too as Kohli and Kuldeep inflicted early rapidfire run outs; Rohit took three catches in the slips and MS Dhoni whipped off the bails in 0.08 seconds to send Keemo Paul back.
Except for Holder, no other West Indies batsmen could withstand the Indian attack, as the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals and were never really in the hunt. Half of their side was back in the pavillion with 50-runs on the board.
Batting first, India made a quick start with Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan (38) and added a run-a-ball 71 for the opening wicket before the latter pulled a Paul short delivery to Powell at the midwicket boundary.
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The highlight of the Indian batting, however, were Rohit and Rayudu who attacked the West Indies bowling and took them apart at will. Rohit had scored a match-winning unbeaten 152 in the first ODI in Guhawati, went after the West Indies bowling once again and made his intentions clear early on. Rayadu, on the other hand, took time to settle down, but then hammered the bowlers with his exquisite stroke-play — first in Rohit’s company and then alongside Dhoni.
India had won the opening ODI in Guwahati, tied the second in Vizag before losing the third in Pune. The final match in the series will be played at Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.
Brief Scores: India: 377 for 5 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 162, Ambati Rayudu 100; Kemar Roach 2/74) beat West Indies: 153 all out in 36.2 overs (J Holder 54 not out, M Samuels 18; K Ahmed 3/13, K Yadav 3/42) by 224 runs.
(With PTI inputs)