Chris Gayles’s blistering knock of 72 runs in just 41 deliveries went in vain as India comfortably chased down West Indies’ target of 255 runs in 35 overs in a rain curtailed game being just four down with two and a half overs to spare.
Batting first the West Indies were given a brisk Start by none other than Christopher Henry Gayle who signed off with a 72 runs innings of just 41 balls. Evin Lewis provided able support scoring 42 but the rest of the order couldn’t really contribute enough to pose a challenge to India’s strong batting line up. Khaleel ahmed picked up 3 wickets for India. At the half way mark West Indies’ total of 255 runs looked a competitive one with the required run rate for India being more than seven runs per over when the innings started.
India’s start to the run chase was a sloppy one. They lost both the openers fairly cheaply with Shikhar Dhawan scoring just 10 and Rohit Sharma failing to capitalize on a decent start by being dismissed for a meagre 36 runs. West Indies would have at that point thought that they were well in the hunt to level the 3 match series but when King Kohli is in the middle the opposition can barely think of winning a cricket match be at any format of the game. Kohli came to the rescue of his side by playing a typical Kohli master class in a white ball run chase by scoring an unbeaten 114 of just 99 balls. Although Rishab Pant was dismissed for a duck, Kohli was provided with by able support from young gun Shres Iyer who smashed 65 runs off just 41 balls to keep the required run rate well in check and relieve the pressure off his captain on the other end. Shres Iyer’s dynamic batting display meant that his partnership with Kohli came at a run rate of 7.5 in 20 overs. Had it not been for Iyer’s aggressive batting display India could have found themselves in some trouble. It now seems that India might well have found a potential long term prospect to occupy that number 4 position in ODI cricket.
Another poor bowling display from the West Indies cost them yet another ODI series defeat. West Indies last won an ODI series five years ago and the frustrating bit of all this is that they keep on repeating the same mistakes. Their batsmen will have to learn to rotate strike and learn to bat for lengthy periods of time. That will only happen if they make their first class system more competitive by giving incentives to performers of first class cricket. West Indies also need good quality fast bowlers who can pick wickets on a regular basis and also need quality spinners to provide Jason Holder with wicket taking options in the middle overs. World cricket needs a strong West Indies side especially with the quality of sides like Sri Lanka and South Africa going down in ODI cricket.