THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India – The West Indies produced their worst batting performance against India in a One Day International to hand the home side an emphatic nine-wicket win and help them wrap up the five-match series 3-1 at Greenfield Stadium today.
In what was scheduled to be a day/night contest, India wrapped up the match well before dark after dismissing the Windies for 104 in 31.5 overs.
It was the visitor’s lowest ever ODI score against India.
The home side, led by a brisk half-century from the in-form Rohit Sharma and an unbeaten knock of 33 from captain Virat Kohli, motored to 105 for one in 14.5 overs, to wrap up the contest even before the scheduled break.
The lone hiccup in the run chase came in the first over when Shikhar Dhawan lost his wicket, his inside edge crashing into middle stump off the bowling of Oshane Thomas to leave India 6 for one.
Thomas was unlucky not to have dismissed Kohli when he was just eight, as captain Jason Holder put down a regulation catch at first slip.
The Indian captain then showed his appreciation for the lifeline off the very next ball by thumping Thomas through cover for four.
Luck wasn’t on Thomas’ side, as the burly fast bowler also had Sharma caught behind off a no-ball.
After that, Sharma adapted a no-nonsense mood driving Thomas back over his head for six and then pulling Holder’s first ball of the 11th over to the boundary to bring up the 50-run partnership. He followed that up by lifting him over midwicket for six – his 200th in ODIs- off the next ball as they rushed to 62-1.
Keemo Paul too was dispatched for consecutive boundaries by Sharma, who eventually brought up his 50 off 52 balls to record his 37th ODI half-century.
Sharma was on the rampage now and he belted Davendra Bishoo for six over long off before Kohli joined in by cutting the legspinner behind point for four as the score moved to 103 for one.
Sharma then fittingly ended the match with a single to long on two balls later.
However, the outcome had virtually been decided long before then, thanks mainly to another inept showing with the bat by the West Indies and a four-wicket haul from spinner Ravindra Jadeja.
While only three Windies’ batsmen managed to score in double figures, Jadeja accounted for key dismissals in the middle and lower order to ensure the visitors would not recover from their horrific start.
The visitors never recovered from the early losses of Kieran Powell (0) and Shai Hope (0) which saw them slump to 2-2.
Powell’s loose drive off a wide delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar ended in the gloves of wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, while Hope was bowled after he played on attempting an expansive cover drive off Jasprit Bumrah.
A brief 34 run-stand between Rovman Powell and Marlon Samuels had looked set to put the Windies back on track before Samuels chipped Jadeja to cover to give Virat Kohli the easiest of catches.
Shimron Hetmyer only scored nine before he became Jadeja’s second wicket, adjudged leg before wicket after a review and Powell followed four runs later, pulling Khaleel Ahmed’s short ball straight into the hands of square leg as the Windies fell to 57 for five.
Captain Jason Holder tried his best to revive his team’s innings, but once he fell for the top-score of 25, his mistimed drive off Ahmed only making it as far as mid-off, the writing was on the wall.
The wickets of Keemo Paul (5), Kemar Roach (5) and Oshane Thomas for a duck followed soon after, as the Windies folded meekly.
Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers ending with 4-34 while there were two wickets apiece for Bumrah (2-11) and Ahmed (2-29).