ODI Series: West Indies crash to defeat before flight home

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October 17, 2014

Brief Scorecard: India 330 for 6 (Kohli 127, Raina 71, Rahane 68) beat West Indies 271 (Samuels 112, Bhuvneshwar 2-25, Akshar 2-26) by 59 runs

Darren Bravo is disappointed after missing one from Akshar Patel, India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Dharamsala, October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014

Brief Scorecard: India 330 for 6 (Kohli 127, Raina 71, Rahane 68) beat West Indies 271 (Samuels 112, Bhuvneshwar 2-25, Akshar 2-26) by 59 runs

Darren Bravo is disappointed after missing one from Akshar Patel, India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Dharamsala, October 17, 2014

DHARAMSALA: Amid all the drama surrounding their pullout from the remainder of the India tour, West Indies dished out a performance in the fourth One-Day International at HPCA Stadium on Friday (October 17) that was as cold as the Dharamsala weather.

After West Indies opted to field in conditions that would have tested any batting unit, the bowlers were all over the place. It didn't help that Virat Kohli, who has been battling to get back into form, cashed in and provided a batting masterclass for the boisterous crowd.

Kohli's 20th ODI century, a sublime 127 that was studded with 13 fours and three sixes, formed the bedrock of the innings as India finished at an imposing 330 for 6. West Indies neither showed the intent to catch the bull by its horns, nor were they tactful enough to play themselves into a position from where they could attempt a late heist. They eventually got to 271, thereby going down by 59 runs to wind up their curtailed tour on a sombre note as India took the series 2-1.

Virat Kohli was a relieved man after his 20th century, India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Dharamsala, October 17, 2014

Marlon Samuels was the lone bright spark in an innings that was meandering along for most parts. But even his 106-ball 112, his seventh ODI ton and second of the series, was quickly reduced to a sideshow by the Indian bowlers who held their own under heavy dew, Akshar Patel's 2 for 26 off ten overs invaluable.

Mohammed Shami hit the straps early on by consistently bowling over 140 clicks, but it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who did the early running during a marathon spell of 8-2-19-1, in which he got the ball to jag around both ways. In between, he also had Kieron Pollard ducking for cover with a rip-roaring bouncer that pinged the batsman on the helmet.

After losing Dwayne Smith to a miscued pull, India put the brakes on. Pollard hardly looked the marauder that he is. Pollard had crawled to 6 off 30 balls before nicking a Bhuvneshwar inswinger to Shikhar Dhawan at slip. When Akshar bowled Darren Bravo soon after, West Indies were placed at 83 for 3 in the 21st over.

Marlon Samuels carves one over the infield, India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Dharamsala, October 17, 2014

Samuels was then peppered on a number of occasions by Shami and the frustration of being unable to get away resulted in him launching an onslaught against Ravindra Jadeja, who was hit for four sixes. But Jadeja got numbers into his wickets column by dismissing Denesh Ramdin (9) and Dwayne Bravo for a second-ball duck to put the West Indies innings on a freefall, till Andre Russell lit up the night sky with a typically aggressive 23-ball 46. After his dismissal though, Samuels's ton was only of academic interest.

That West Indies had a steep task right from the outset was due to the brilliance of the Kohli-Suresh Raina combine. The pair came together in the 27th over when Ajinkya Rahane (68 off 79 balls) was dismissed after a strong start, and added 138 for the third wicket.

Kohli drove, cut and pulled well, but the shot of the evening was a clean lofted hit off Jerome Taylor, the punch carrying the ball way back into the stands. To West Indies' dismay, Raina wasn't in the mood to play second fiddle as he simply continued from where he had left off in New Delhi. Dwayne Bravo, his Chennai Super Kings teammate, soon came under his wheel and was clobbered for 51 in six overs as the batting PowerPlay produced 52 runs.

While Raina fell for a 58-ball 71, Kohli continued merrily, flaying a hapless attack to all corners of the ground. India also benefitted from as many as six dropped catches that added salt to the West Indies’ wounds.

That Kohli and Raina got into their zone quickly was due to the foundation laid by the openers who put on 70 in 11.3 overs. While Dhawan was in a punishing mood, Rahane lent an artistic touch. But that was to soon be overshadowed by Kohli's masterclass that made news for all the right reasons on the night.


Courtesy: Wsden India

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