India beat WI by 4 wkts; win series 2-1

Cuttack, Dec 22 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 12/22/2019 10:19:38 AM IST

India overcame a few hiccups in the series-deciding match in Cuttack to beat the West Indies by 4 wickets win the 3-ODI series 2-1 at the Barabati stadium on Sunday.

Chasing a challenging target of 316 for victory, India rode on superb knocks from captain Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma to get close to the target after which Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur took the team over the line with their crucial 7th-wicket partnership.

Kohli top-scored with 85 runs while Rahul (77) and Rohit (63) gave India a perfect start with their 122-run opening partnership.

But it wasn’t cakewalk for India as the middle-order batsmen failed again, leaving Kohli with the responsibility to win the game from a difficult position yet again.

The captain led from the front and forged an important partnership with Jadeja before departing against the run of play in the 47th over with India needing 30 off 23 balls.

There were some concerned faces in the Indian dressing room as Shardul Thakur walked in to bat after Kohli’s departure. But the fast bowler stunned everybody by scoring 17 off 6 balls with two boundaries and a six to bring the equation back in India’s favour.

Jadeja then added the finishing touches and finished the game in the 49th over to trigger massive celebrations in and around the stadium. Jadeja remained unbeaten on 39 off 31 balls with four boundaries to his name. This was the highest successful run chase at the Barabati stadium and the third-highest for India against West Indies in ODI cricket.

Kohli’s knock also saw him go past Rohit and become the batsman with the most runs in international cricket across all formats in 2019. Kohli finished with 2455 runs in 44 matches. This is the fourth year in a row that he has managed to end up with the most runs in a calendar year in international cricket.

Earlier, West Indies batsmen took the Indian bowlers to the cleaners after being asked to bat with a total of 315 for 5 in 50 overs.

The Windies rode on half-centuries from Nicholas Pooran and captain Kieron Pollard to go past the 300-run mark.

Pollard and Pooran put up a 135-run stand for the fifth wicket to revitalise the West Indies innings which was struggling until then.

Pooran scored 89 off 64 balls and his innings included 10 fours and three sixes. Pollard, on the other hand, smashed 74 off 51 balls, his innings punctuated by three fours and seven sixes.

West Indies hit 32 runs off the last two overs, most of which came from Pollard alone. They hit a total of 118 runs in the last 10 overs.

Brief scores: 

West Indies 315/5 (Nicholas Pooran 89, Kieron Pollard 74; Navdeep Saini 2/58)

India 316/6 (Virat Kohli 85, KL Rahul 77; Keemo Paul 3/59)


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