India beat the West Indies by 102 runs in the fourth match of the Tri-Nations Series at the Queen's Park Oval on Friday.
<b>India beat the West Indies by 102 runs in the fourth match of the Tri-Nations Series at the Queen's Park Oval on Friday.</b>
The Indians, who kept their prospects of making the tournament final alive, produced what was arguably their most clinical performance of the series during this rain-interrupted fixture.
After posting an imposing total, Virat Kohli's bowling unit made some early inroads against a dangerous West Indian batting line-up. Buvneshwa Kumar was the first to strike for the Indians, when he dismissed the danger man Chris Gayle for just ten runs.
New batsman Darren Bravo struggled from the outset and eventually succumbed to the bowling of Kumar for a solitary run.
Marlon Samuels and opening batsman Johnson Charles managed to establish some form of stability and together they produced a third wicket stand of 39 runs. However, Samuels did not contribute much to this partnership and was eventually dismissed for just six runs.
Charles, who was the aggressor in the previous partnership, was joined by the big hitting Kieron Pollard in the middle. However, that reunion was short-lived, as Pollard departed without scoring.
For most of this innings the hosts simply weren't able to form any meaningful partnerships. Sunil Narine and Kemar Roach played some brave cricket towards the end of the innings and together they produced a 58 run partnership. However, it was ultimately a case of too little too late for the West Indians.
Earlier in the day an inspired batting performance from Kohli helped India to 311-7 before the interval. Kohli scored 102 runs off just 82 balls, in an innings which featured 15 boundaries. The Indian captain was eventually dismissed by Dwayne Bravo towards the business end of that innings.
The Indians could not have asked for a better start, as Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma produced an opening stand of 123 runs. The duo scored at more than five runs to the over, thanks in part to an aggressive batting display from Dhawan.
The opening batsman hit ten boundaries during his innings of 69, at a strike rate of of 89.6. West Indies opening bowler Kemar Roach made the breakthrough when he dismissed Dhawan in the 24th over.
Kohli joined Sharma in the middle and together the duo put on just 18 more runs before the latter was caught behind off the bowling of Tino Best for 46 runs. Prior to that Sharma had played a very watchful innings and there had been signs that he might be able to up the ante somewhat as it progressed.
Both Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik were subsequently dismissed cheaply off the bowling of Marlon Samuels and Best respectively. However, Kohli and new batsman Murali Vijay made a meaningful contribution for the fifth wicket, which helped India build on the momentum which they had created earlier in the match.
The duo made 42 runs at a rate of nine to the over, which propelled India to 210-5. However, Vijay eventually succumbed to Kieron Pollard, after scoring a quickfire 27. Ravindra Jadeja departed without making a significant contribution to what was becoming an incredible Indian innings.
Ravi Ashwin then joined Kohli in the middle and together the duo steered India to an imposing 311-7. The batsmen put on 90 runs for the seventh wicket. Kohli, who scored 58 of those runs, was the natural aggressor.
The duo scored at an impressive ten runs to the over, as Kohli raced to yet another One Day International century. It was certainly a tough day at the office for the West Indian bowlers – the statistics suggest as much. Best, who was probably the pick of the bowlers picked up two wickets for 51 runs in his allotted ten overs.
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