Fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah led India’s clinical bowling performance as the West Indies were eliminated from the World Cup in Manchester on Thursday.
Shami backed up skipper Virat Kohli’s earlier effort with the bat after the star batsman top-scored with 72 to lay the foundation for India’s total of 268/7 in their 50 overs. The pacer removed the dangerous Chris Gayle after a scratchy innings and from there on, India never looked back.
West Indies were bowled out for 143 in 34.2 overs as India won by 125 runs.
The pace spearhead bowled an incisive opening spell, assisted by new-ball partner Bumrah (2/9), to return with figures of 4/16 in his 6.2 overs.
Gayle mistimed a short ball and was caught by Kedar Jadhav to the left of mid-on after struggling to just six runs off 19 balls. Shai Hope tried to remain positive by hitting a boundary but Shami responded by rattling his stumps off the very next ball with a superb in-dipper as West Indies slipped to 16/2.
West Indies were 29/2 after 10 overs – the lowest score in the first powerplay by a team at the World Cup. From there on, the run-chase was never on. Sunil Ambris’ patient 31 was the highest score of the innings for West Indies, as Hardik Pandya broke his resistance. The wickets fell at regular intervals, with Bumrah registering another double-wicket maiden (to go with the one in the match against Afghanistan).
The spoils were shared by the Indian bowlers with Kuldeep Yadav (1/35), Yuzvendra Chahal (2/39) and Pandya (1/28) all featuring in the wicket-takers list.
Earlier, Kohli became the fastest batsman to reach 20,000 international runs in his 417th innings – India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Caribbean batsman Brian Lara both required 453 innings to reach the landmark.
The Indian captain was adjudged player of the match for his half-century.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya boosted the total, putting on 70 runs for the sixth wicket to punish the otherwise-disciplined West Indies bowlers.
Pandya hit 46 off 38 balls while Dhoni remained unbeaten on 56, ending the innings with a big six.
There has been a lot of talk about Dhoni’s issues with strike-rotation and Thursday’s batting effort on another dry and slow track did invite more debate. The former captain smashed 16 in the final over to finish on 56 off 61 deliveries with three fours and two sixes. Despite the win, his percentage of dot balls remains a concern for India. If India played 152 dot balls against Afghanistan, the run-less delivery count was 163 in this game.
It was Pandya knock that powered India past the 250-run mark after skipper Virat Kohli (72 off 82 balls) scored his fourth half-century.
The West Indies bowlers, led by paceman Kemar Roach, had kept India in check until the latter stages, stemming the flow of runs with regular wickets after being asked to field first.
Roach returned with impressive figures of 3/36 in his 10 overs, including the wicket of Indian opener Rohit Sharma for 18.
Kohli, whose knock included eight boundaries, extended his fine run of form with some eye-catching shots that charmed a partisan crowd at Old Trafford. He played a delightful wristy flick for a boundary off West Indies captain Jason Holder, only to give a simple catch to mid-wicket off the next ball.
Kohli, who registered his 53rd One-Day International fifty in his 232nd ODI match, built crucial partnerships including a 69-run second-wicket stand with KL Rahul, who made 48.
Defeat for West Indies brought an end to their overall miserable campaign that started on a high with a win against Pakistan. India meanwhile all but ensured a place in the semi-finals with three matches still to go. They moved to second on the points table after Thursday’s win.
(With AFP and PTI inputs)