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Saturday, 6 July 2013

West Indies vs India: Celkon Mobile Cup 2013 - Report


With a comprehensive 102-run win over the West Indies under the Duckworth/Lewis method, India have managed to stay in contention for a place in the finals of the Celkon Mobile Cup.
After India’s opening pair laid a solid foundation, stand-in captain Virat Kohli ensured that his team set the West Indies a formidable target with his swashbuckling century. The Indian pace attack then exploited the conditions and struck at regular intervals to take control of the game.  (Also Read: West Indies vs India: Celkon Mobile Cup 2013 - Statistical Highlights)
Earlier, invited to bat first, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were back in their element as they patiently built a strong platform for the Indian innings. After losing their way in the first two games in the Caribbean, the pair seemed to have regained their form at the Queen’s Park Oval. Adding 123 runs for the first wicket, they gradually built the tempo of the innings. (Also See: Images: West Indies vs India: Celkon Mobile Cup 2013)
Kemar Roach and Sunil Narine were taken for plenty of runs – especially by the left-handed opener. Meanwhile, Rohit played a supporting role. Narine was sent sailing over the ropes by Dhawan as the duo found gaps with ease. The partnership was gaining momentum when Dhawan holed out Roach to deep square-leg to depart for 69.
18 runs later Rohit, edged Tino Best to the ‘keeper to return four short of his half-century. After dropping himself down the order in the previous game, Kohli, back at his regular No.3 slot anchored the innings. While wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end pushing India on the back foot, he held up one end and seized the momentum back with a confident batting display. 
Suresh Raina soon followed Rohit back to the dressing room, after adding just 10 runs to the total. He pushed a Marlon Samuels delivery to the slips where Darren Sammy took a brilliant low catch to his right. And 15 balls later, Dinesh Karthik was removed for six.
Murali Vijay, who replaced him, looked in good nick during his 18-ball 27, before being done in by a short delivery from Kieron Pollard. Then, Vijay hit a Dwayne Bravo delivery straight to Johnson Charles at point to bring Ravindra Jadeja out to the crease. But Jadeja soon ran himself out while attempting an unlikely single. 
Ravichandran Ashwin then ably supported Kohli. After reaching his half-century, Kohli raced to his century at a quick pace. Scoring at over ten runs per over, the duo added 90 runs for the seventh wicket. The No.3 batter was impressive as he took India past the 300-run mark. However, he was out off the last delivery of the innings for 102 while attempting to clear the fence.
Defending the big total, Kumar removed the dangerous Chris Gayle and followed up with the wicket of Darren Bravo early on. Charles then looked to rebuild the innings with Samuels when rain interrupted play with the home side on 56 for two.
When play resumed, with the target revised to 274 from 39 overs, WI required 218 from 29 overs. But the WI middle order fell in a heap, making an uphill task even more difficult. Marlon Samuels was caught by Karthik for 10, and Kieron Pollard offered a simple catch to Ashwin in the slips to return for a duck. To compound WI’s problems, Ishant Sharma broke through Charles’ resistance to leave the hosts reeling on 69 for five.
After briefly bowling spinners from both ends, Kohli reintroduced Umesh Yadav, who claimed three wickets in three overs. Roach and Narine then rallied on to add 58 for the ninth wicket with a late onslaught, but were unable to keep India from getting the bonus point. WI were eventually bowled out for 171 runs.
Brief scores: India 311/7 for 50 overs (V Kohli 102, S Dhawan 69, R Sharma 46; T Best 2/51) beat West Indies 171 all out in 34 overs (J Charles 45; B Kumar 3/29, U Yadav 3/32, I Sharma 2/30) by 102 runs under the D/L method
Man of the Match: Virat Kohli for his match-winning century


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