Kohli’s ton helps India beat West Indies to clinch series 3-1


(Online Desk)

Skipper Virat Kohli scored a fighting century and Dinesh Karthik came good with a half-century as India thrashed West Indies by eight wickets to clinch the five match ODI series 3-1 at the Sabina Park on Thursday.

Earlier Mohammed Shami had taken four for 48 as India restricted the hosts to 205 for nine in their allotted 50 overs.

It was always going to be an easy chase but India once again lost an early wicket, with Shikhar Dhawan falling to Alzarri Josepph. However, Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli stitched a 79-run partnership for the second wicket to bring the visitors back on track. Rahane had been lucky earlier on as he was dropped on six at point. He cashed in to help stabilize India but fell 11 short of becoming the fourth Indian to score fifties in five successive matches.

After his dismissal, Kohli and Dinesh Karthik, who got to his first fifty in four years, took charge and saw India through. Kohli, who began carefully, got into imperious touch and scored his 28th century which also was his 18th in second innings. It took him past Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 17 second innings centuries.

Kohli finished the game with a six.

Earlier, Shami and Umesh Yadav (3/53) helped India restrict the hosts to 205.

Shami got rid of top-scorer Shai Hope (51 off 98 balls) and captain Jason Holder (36 off 34). Umesh Yadav took two wickets off two balls and that set the Windies back following a good start.

After winning the toss, the hosts elected to bat and were driven by Kyle Hope who made 46 off 50 balls to get them to over 70 for just one wicket in the first 15 overs.

Till the time he was there, West Indies looked on course. However, he fell while trying to pull Umesh, who had looked the weakest link in the Indian attack up until then. After hitting him for two smashing boundaries, Kyle tried to hit one through midwicket but was caught. From thereon, India spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja got the measure of West Indies batting and throttled the run rate which put pressure on the home batsmen.

West Indies who were going at over 4.5 at one stage while the older of the Hope brothers was there, suddenly saw their run rate dropping to well below four.

The hosts managed some impetus through captain Holder, who reverse swept Chinaman Kuldeep for boundaries. The shot that stood out, however, was the hit to the cow corner against Hardik Pandya. But after the WI captain’s dismissal, it all fell away.

Shai Hope, who managed a fighting half-century and shared a 48-run partnership with Holder tried to up the pace. He had been going at a strike rate of just over 50. He, however, failed to hit the top gear, holing out to Ajinkya Rahane, who pulled off a brilliant running catch at midwicket.

Rovman Powell helped them cross 200 with a 32-ball 31.