Manchester: Wicketkeeper Shai Hope missed two chances to stump his Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni off a Fabian Allen delivery off the first ball of the 34th over. Dhoni, who was on eight, utilised the missed chance to hit an unbeaten 56 off 61 balls and ended India’s innings in a flourish, hitting the last ball of the innings for a six and steering India to a challenging 268 for 7.
Hope’s miss shattered West Indies hopes of restricting India and pulling off a win over India at the Old Trafford ground. They also bowed to the guiles and accuracy of the Indian bowlers and crashed to a 125-run defeat and out of the World Cup.
India move to the second slot in the World Cup table with 11 points behind Australia (12) and within a point to ensure they reach the semi-final. Mohammad Shami produced another brilliant (4 for 16).
It was a typical Dhoni finish to an innings, who was criticised in the last match against Afghanistan for his slow batting and even made a few wonder whether he may again play a slow knock here though he shaped India’s total against a tight West Indies bowling attack. He ensured India get 49 off the last five overs and 82 runs off the last 10 overs.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, top scored with 72 runs and was involved in a 69 runs partnership in 14.4 overs for the second wicket with opener Lokesh Rahul (48) and 40 runs in 9.3 overs with Dhoni for the fifth wicket. Later Dhoni and Hardik Pandya (46) put on a match winning 70-runs partnership in 10 overs for the sixth wicket.
Kemar Roach bowled with absolute discipline maintaining a tight line and length to bag three wickets for 36 backed by his skipper Jason Holder and Sheldon Cottrell with two wickets each.
With a total of below 300 and that too against explosive West Indies batsmen, all eyes turned towards, last match hat-trick man Mohammad Shami, World’s No. 1 bowler Jasprit Bumrah, and the accurate spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Shami removed the most dangerous man Chris Gayle for 6 by having him caught at mid-on when he misjudged the bounce and also Hope for 5. Sunil Ambris and Nicholas Pooran put on 55 runs in 11.1 overs before Pandya trapped Ambris leg before for 31. Pooran (28) and skipper Holder fell to the guiles of Yadav and Chahal respectively. Before the half way mark, half of the West Indies batsmen were back in the pavilion before even reaching the 100 run mark.
The question during the lunch break in every Indian fans’ mind was whether the total of 268 for 7 would be enough for India after winning the toss and electing to bat. Like Afghanistan in their last match where they could muster only 224 for 8 after electing to bat, this time too they wanted a bigger total, at least a psychologically imposing total of over 300 runs.
Many things went wrong for India on the way. Firstly, their star opener Rohit Sharma was declared caught behind off Kemar Roach when it looked the ball went off the pad than the bat. It was doubtful whether the Ultra Edge picked the right sound and forced Rohit to walk away in disbelief shaking his head as West Indies rejoiced over their successful review.
Rahul, needing only two more runs for his half century but allowed a Holder delivery to find his bat and pad gap and hit his off stump. India’s third wicket fell when Vijay Shankar, who was about to settle down, nicked Roach to wicketkeeper. To the shock of the Indian fans next man Kedar Jadhav lasted only ten balls before edging another Roach delivery.
India went past the 100 run mark in 21.3 overs and 150 in 31st over. Kohli reached his 50 in 55 balls. At his score on 37, he reached the 20,000 run mark in only his 417th innings (- 131 in Tests, 223 in ODIs and 62 in T20Is) to become the fastest to reach that milestone beating the record held by legendary batsmen Sachin Tendukar and Brian Lara who took 453 innings to reach there.
In the 39th over, Kohli fell for 72, playing a shot which even he could not believe. He simply pulled Holder to substitute Darren Bravo at midwicket. He refused to leave the crease for a long time thinking of his blunder and looked like about to burst into tears looking at the dressing room.
Hardik Pandya, playing in his 50th ODI match, joined Dhoni. They put on a 70-runs partnership in the next 10 overs before Pandya on 46, misjudged a Cottrell slower delivery and got caught at sweeper cover. Cottrell who has the habit celebrating his wicket by saluting at the batsman did another salute too by dissing Mohammad Shami for a duck.
K.L. Rahul b Holder 48
R. Sharma c Hope b Roach 18
V. Kohli c sub b Holder 72
V. Shankar c Hope b Roach 14
K. Jadhav c Hope b Roach 7
M.S. Dhoni not out 56
H. Pandya c Allen b Cottrell 46
M. Shami c Hope b Cottrell 0
K. Yadav not out 0
Extras (1b, w6) 7
Total (seven wickets, 50 overs) 268
Fall of wickets: 1-29 (Sharma), 2-98 (Rahul), 3-126 (Shankar), 4-140 (Jadhav), 5-180 (Kohli), 6-250 (Pandya), 7-252 (Shami)
Bowling: Cottrell 10-0-50-2 (2w); Roach 10-0-36-3; Thomas 7-0-63-0 (2w); Allen 10-0-52-0; Holder 10-2-33-2; Brathwaite 3-0-33-0 (2w)
C. Gayle c Jadhav b Shami 6
S. Ambris lbw b Pandya 31
S. Hope b Shami 5
N. Pooran c Shami b Yadav 28
S. Hetmyer c Rahul b Shami 18
J. Holder c Jadhav b Chahal 6
C. Brathwaite c Dhoni b Bumrah 1
F. Allen lbw b Bumrah 0
K. Roach not out 14
S. Cottrell lbw b Chahal 10
O. Thomas c Sharma b Shami 6
Extras (b9, lb3, nb1, w5) 18
Total (all out, 34.2 overs) 143
Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Gayle), 2-16 (Hope), 3-71 (Ambris), 4-80 (Pooran), 5-98 (Holder), 6-107 (Brathwaite), 7-107 (Allen), 8-112 (Hetmyer), 9-124 (Cottrell)
Bowling: Shami 6.2-0-16-4, Bumrah 6-1-9-2, Pandya 5-0-28-1, Yadav 9-1-35-1, Jadhav 1-0-4-0, Chahal 7-0-39-2