Kolkata: Virat Kohli’s hard-fought yet classy hundred and Dinesh Karthik’s unbeaten fifty saw India clinch the ODI series 3-1 against the West Indies after the bowlers put up a disciplined show to restrict them to just 205/9 in their 50 overs.
The roar and raise of the bat in the air just showed how much this hundred mattered to him after all the blame and criticisms he faced for Kumble’s stepping down from his position the head coach and even the heart-breaking loss to Pakistan, in the Champions Trophy final.
Walking in when Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed quite early in the innings, he stitched crucial partnerships with Ajinkya Rahane (39) and an unbeaten 122 stand with Dinesh Karthik (50*) to see off the game without any further hiccups. In the process he also surpassed the iconic Sachin Tendulkar as he now has the most number of hundreds in chases in ODI cricket-18, as compared to Sachin’s 17.
The match much like the entire series was a thoroughly one-sided contest as the Indian bowlers put pressure on the West Indies batting right from the word go. Pacers Mohammad Shami (4-48) and Umesh Yadav (3-53) were fast and accurate and especially Umesh, who once sent back Kyle Hope (46) and Roston Chase (0) in successive deliveries was bowling really well.
When a partnership was developing, Kedar Jadhav once again rolled his arm over and got a wicket. The West Indies batsmen tried to accelerate at the end with skipper Jason Holder (36) who hit four boundaries and one six Rovman Powell’s (31) cameo which defied the visitors but the total batting effort resulted in them scoring just 205. Shai Hope (51) was the highest run-scorer for them in the innings.
India lost Dhawan quite early in response and while the hosts tried to pull off something they did in Antigua to clinch that miraculous win, Virat Kohli was in mood to let this opportunity slip from his hands. Fighting hard, he played some classy shots to notch up his 28th ODI hundred, second to Ricky Ponting’s 30. He was able supported by Rahane and Karthik as the Indian skipper finished off proceedings with a massive six to give India an emphatic eight wicket win.
West Indies 205/9 (Shai Hope 51, Kyle Hope 46; Shami 4/48) lost to India 206/2 in 36.5 overs (Virat Kohli 111*, Dinesh Karthik 50*; Alzarri Joseph 1/39) by eight wickets.