India vs West Indies: Virat Kohli leads from the front in tricky chase to help hosts seal series with four-wicket victory

Displaying panache and patience in equal measure, Virat Kohli made 85 off 81 balls, but got out with India needing 30 off 23 balls. It was then that Shardul Thakur played the most defining cameo of his short career to power India to a series-winning four-wicket victory over West Indies.

Press Trust of India, Dec 22, 2019 22:15:55 IST

Cuttack: Virat Kohli anchored a tricky chase before Shardul Thakur played the most defining cameo of his short career to power India to a series-winning four-wicket victory over the West Indies in the third ODI on Sunday.

India vs West Indies: Virat Kohli leads from the front in tricky chase to help hosts seal series with four-wicket victory

India's captain Virat Kohli (left) and KL Rahul run between the wickets during the third ODI against West Indies in Cuttack. AP Photo

India's top three — Rohit Sharma (63), KL Rahul (77) and Kohli (85) — fired in unison in a 316-run chase but it got slippery in the end when the Indian captain left the scene with 30 required off 23 balls.

It was then that Thakur, in the company of a composed Ravindra Jadeja (39 not out), smashed 17 runs off six balls with the help of a six and four off Sheldon Cottrell to seal the issue in his team's favour with eight balls to spare.

This was India's 10th successive series win over the West Indies.

Displaying panache and patience in equal measure, Kohli made 85 off 81 balls, but got out to an innocuous Keemo Paul delivery with India someway off the target.

But Thakur had other ideas.

Set a challenging target of 316 in the series-decider, India were cruising at 122 for no loss when they lost Rohit was dismissed for a run-a-ball 63 in the 22nd over.

Rahul (77 off 89 balls) and Shreyas Iyer fell for the addition of 21 runs, and the task became tricky when Rishabh Pant was bowled by Paul.

At that stage, India were 201 in the 35th over but Kohli steadied the ship and took India closer to the target. However, for a change, he could not finish the job.

In the last five years this is the first time Kohli has got out in the 80s or 90s in an ODI chase.

Earlier, skipper Kieron Pollard saved his best and, along with a savage Nicholas Pooran, helped the West Indies post 315 for five.

The Windies left it late with Nicholas Pooran (89) and skipper Kieron Pollard (74 not out off 51 balls) taking the Indian attack into smithereens stitching together a stand of 135 run from 98 balls.

The Indian bowling attack that looked steady during the first 40 overs, knocked 118 in the last 10 overs to get past 300-run target.

The Windies skipper smashed seven sixes and three fours en route to his unbeaten knock while Pooran stepped it up, hitting three sixes and 10 fours in his knock from 64 balls.

Drafted into the side in place of injured Deepak Chahar, the lanky 27-year-old from Delhi grabbed his maiden ODI wicket when he dismissed the in-form Shimron Hetmyer (37), who looked desperate to break free after the Windies were tied down to less than four runs an over midway into their innings.

Coming into the side on the back of a five-for in the Ranji Trophy, Saini impressed with his pace and bounce as he also cleaned up Roston Chase (38) with a yorker for his second wicket in successive overs in a fine second spell of 3-0-10-2.

In fact, Saini would have taken another had Ravindra Jadeja not dropped a diving catch of Evin Lewis in the point when the left-handed opener was on 14.

Promoted ahead of Hetmyer in a surprise decision, Chase was middling the ball and looked to anchor the Windies innings but those two dismissals pegged the visitors back as they looked to recover from a sedate start.

Saini finished with 2 for 58 faltering at the death, while his senior partner Mohammed Shami took the prized-scalp of Shai Hope, eight runs short of a third successive fifty-plus score, en route to his 1/66 which included two maiden overs.

With scores of 102 not out, 78, and 42 in the ongoing series, Hope finished the year with 1345 runs but only to miss out by four runs from breaking Brian Lara's record of accumulating the most ODI runs by a Windies player in a calendar year.

In pursuit of a 10th successive ODI bilateral win against the Windies, Indian skipper Kohli had everything going in favour of him right from the toss as he pressed the visitors in keeping in mind of the dew-laden conditions.

Thakur (1/66) and Kuldeep Yadav (0/67) were taken to cleaners by Pollard-Pooran duo during the back end of the innings, to provide that much-needed momentum.

In fact the left-arm chinaman missed his 100th ODI wicket after Pant dropped Chase on duck, as the youngster's wicketkeeping once again proved to be an eyesore.

Early on, it was a complete un-Windies like show from the visitors and it took them 41 overs to reach the 200-mark, even as they had enough wickets in hand on a flat batting deck.

It was more about Indian execution and what seemed a flawed planning from their counterparts who chose to hold back an in-form Hetmyer, bolstered by his million-dollar deal from Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2020.

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Updated Date: Dec 22, 2019 22:15:55 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 3241 112
3 South Africa 3177 102
4 England 4593 102
5 Australia 3672 102
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7364 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10071 258
6 New Zealand 6056 252