Kanpur: Riding on opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan’s fine 119, India wrapped up the series 2-1 against the West Indies, winning the third and the deciding ODI by five wickets at the Green Park Stadium here Wednesday.
Dhawan, who struck 20 fours in his 95-ball innings, and Yuvraj Singh (55) helped the the team recover from a shaky start with their 129-run stand for the third-wicket as India overhauled the target of 264 runs, scoring 266 for five in 46.1 overs.
It was a clinical performance by India right from the start as West Indies failed to capitalise on a good start and managed a par score of 263 for five in 50 overs. Kieran Powell was the top scorer with 70 while Marlon Samuels made 71.
In reply, Dhawan led the charge right with a fiery knock of 119 off 95 balls – his fifth ODI century this year – while Yuvraj also came up with an unimpressive but yet a valuable half-century.
Chasing a modest total of 264, India were off to a poor star as opening batsman Rohit Sharma (4) and Virat Kohli (19) were back in the pavilion with just 61 runs on board in the ninth over.
It was fast bowler Ravi Rampaul (2-55), who did the early damage by removing the both Rohit and Kohli, who were in form.
Rohit, fresh from back-to-back centuries in his first two Tests, was out fishing outside the off stump and edged to Dwayne Bravo at first slip. Kohli, who fell for 99 in the last outing, was in two minds, whether to leave the ball and while he was trying to withdraw the bat he found an edge to wicketkeeper Johnson Charles.
Dhawan then joined forces with Yuvraj, who was not in best of his forms, but still got a hard earned 55 in 74. They put India back on track with their 129-run stand for the third wicket.
Dhawan’s was on top of the West Indies bowlers and he struck 20 fours that ripped apart the bowling. Yuvraj looked shaky, especially against spinner Sunil Narine, but gave good company to Dhawan.
Yuvraj, who hit seven fours in his 74-ball innings, finally fell to Narine after he failed to read a tossed up delivery and edged to Dwayne Bravo in the slip.
After having dominated the West Indies bowling, Dhawan suffered a soft dismissal as Dwayne Bravo (2-57) took an easy return catch of his own bowling.
Suresh Raina (34) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (23 not out) then took the team to the threshold of the win with their 37-run stand. With a victory in sight, Raina went for an ambitious drive only to become Dwayne Bravo’s second victim caught behind by the wicketkeeper. Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja (2 not out) got the team home safely with 23 balls to spare.
Early, West Indies failed to cash in on the half-centuries by Powell (70), Samuels (71) and Darren Bravo (51 not out).
Opening batsman Johnson Charles’ (11) poor form continued and was catsled early in the fifth over by Bhuvneshwar Kumar with an inswinger that left the West Indies at 20/1.
Powell and Samuels shared a 117-run second-wicket stand that laid the foundation for West Indies.
Quick knocks by Darren Bravo (51 not out) and Darren Sammy (37 not out) helped the West Indies to a par total at the ground. India’s spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up two for 45.