Windies go down again
DHARAMSALA – Marlon Samuels stroked another sublime hundred as West Indies crashed to a 59-run defeat to India in a high-scoring One-Day International here yesterday.
But the result was overshadowed by the Caribbean side’s decision to quit the tour as their pay dispute with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), reached a new level.
Chasing 331 for victory at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, West Indies were bowled out off the first ball of the penultimate over for 271, with Samuels stroking 112 off 106 deliveries.
Andre Russell slammed 46 from just 23 balls while left-hander Darren Bravo, who opened the batting, scored 40 from 51 balls.
The wickets were shared around with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-25), Akshar Patel (2-26), Umesh Yadav (2-44), Mohammed Shami (2-72) and Ravi Jadeja (2-80), all taking two apiece.
India had earlier capitalised on lacklustre West Indies bowling to pile up 330 for six from their 50 overs, after they were sent in.
Man-Of-The-Match Virat Kohli carved out his 20th ODI hundred, 127, and put on 138 for the third wicket with left-hander Suresh Raina, whose 71 came from a mere 58 balls.
The victory gave India a winning 2-1 verdict in the series, suddenly reduced to four matches with the Windies players’ decision to abandon the tour.
They were scheduled to play a fifth game in Kolkata on Monday and a Twenty20 International two days later in Cuttack.
With attention suddenly shifted to the off-field events, India capitalised to make early headway. Opener Ajinkya Rahane stroked 68 from 79 balls while his partner Shikhar Dhawan got 38, as they posted 70 for the opening stand.
Rahane counted seven fours and Dhawan six fours and a six.
When Dhawan departed in the 12th over, Rahane and Kohli added a further 72 before Kohli and Raina came together to dominate the innings.
Kohli was exceptional, hammering 13 fours and three sixes off only 114 deliveries before he was run out off the final ball, while Raina slammed three fours and five sixes.
The Windies had a miserable start when Dwayne Smith top-edged a pull at pacer Umesh Yadav to Mohammed Shami at mid-on, to fall for a “duck”.
Kieron Pollard laboured for 31 balls over six before edging a Bhuvneshwar Kumar outswinger to Dhawan at slip, as West Indies slipped further to 27 for two at the end of the 11th.
However, Samuels and Darren Bravo combined in a 56-run, second-wicket stand which repaired the innings. While Bravo played cautiously, Samuels was positive in his approach, stroking the 15th ball he faced to the cover boundary off seamer Mohammed Shami before clobbering the bowler over long-off for six off the last ball of the over.
Overall, Samuels counted nine fours and six sixes while Darren Bravo struck six fours.
Darren Bravo played on to 20-year-old left-arm spinner Akshar Patel in the 21st over with the score on 83 but Samuels pressed on to raise his 24th ODI half-century off 48 balls.
He sped to 49, taking 22 runs from left-arm spinner Ravi Jadeja’s third over before taking a single down the ground next ball to reach his landmark.
Denesh Ramdin holed out to deep square leg for nine in Jadeja’s next over after adding 37 with Samuels and skipper Dwayne Bravo perished in the same over, lbw without scoring.
Samuels found two enterprising stands en route to three figures. He put on 44 for the sixth wicket with Sammy, who got 16, and another 57 with Russell, who blasted six fours and three sixes in a whirlwind knock.
Once, he was bowled by Yadav in the 41st over with the Windies on 222 for seven, all hope of a victory disappeared.
Samuels took the opportunity to complete his seventh ODI hundred, moving to 98 with scintillating cover drive off Mohammed Shami before reaching his landmark with a couple of singles. (CMC)