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October 19 2019
Kohli and Rohit do it for India with plenty to spare
22 October 2018

Making mockery of what looked like a stiff 323-run target, the home team cantered to the win with 7.5 overs to spare.

Virat Kohli may be coming off a short break from ODI cricket, but he has lost none of his insatiable appetite for runs. 

The Indian skipper, who was rested for the Asia Cup, announced his return with a typically chanceless knock, against the West Indies, here on Sunday. 

Kohli (140, 107b, 21x4, 2x6) and the equally-impressive Rohit Sharma (152 n.o., 117b, 15x4, 8x6) powered the home team to a comfortable eight-wicket win in the first of the five-match series.

Golden run

Kohli’s golden run continued, as he notched up his fourth 50-over century of the calendar year. The 29-year-old has now piled on 889 runs in 2018, at an incredible average of 127. 

On the day, Kohli played every shot in the book, and effortlessly found the gaps as well. He came in to bat with India on 10 for one, facing a stiff 323-run target. 

When Kohli was out stumped, the side required a routine 67 runs from 17 overs. The 246-run second-wicket stand between Kohli and Rohit had effectively shut the rival out of the contest.

Rohit, meanwhile, was happy to play second fiddle to his flamboyant partner. He did have his fair share of the spotlight too, smacking some monstrous sixes. One heave, which sent the ball to the stadium’s upper-tier, brought the spectators to their feet. For the victim, off-spinner Ashley Nurse, and indeed for the rest of his teammates, it was a frustratingly long night.

Fiery spell

Only a fiery early spell from Oshane Thomas threatened the Indian party. Featuring in his first international match, Thomas consistently touched speeds of 145-kmph, and accounted for Shikhar Dhawan cheaply. 

Thomas then had Kohli jabbing away from his body, but the edge evaded the slip cordon. Thomas may have ended with expensive figures, but he did show considerable promise.

Earlier, after being put in to bat, West Indies rode on a fluent century from Shimron Hetmyer to get past the 300-run mark. Hetmyer recorded his third hundred in 13 ODI appearances, while going about the business like a veteran.

Grace and power

In an innings marked by terrific stroke-making, Hetmyer displayed grace, timing and power. He preferred the mid-wicket area, going down on one knee to use the slog-sweep against the spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja.

Hetmyer’s first maximum came off Jadeja when he fetched the ball from outside off-stump and deposited it over the mid-wicket fence. 

Kohli brought on pacer Mohammed Shami, but it had little impact. The Guyana batsman first cleared his front leg and thrashed the ball into the mid-wicket stands, and off the next delivery, showcased great balance with a rocket-straight punch. 

Highlight

The crowd was thrilled when Hetmyer stood on one leg and executed a pull — a ‘Nataraja’ shot made famous by a certain Brian Lara. He brought up his century with the highlight of the West Indies innings — a sweetly-timed front-foot chip off Shami which went for six. 

The 21-year-old southpaw was eventually dismissed for a 78-ball 106, when he top-edged Jadeja to debutant Rishabh Pant at deep fine-leg.

Before Hetmyer’s exploits, it was opener Kieran Powell who kept the score moving. Kieran (51, 39b, 6x4, 2x6) looked in control, until he holed out to Dhawan at long-on. 

Shai Hope (32, 51b) and Rovman Powell (22, 23b) got in, but fell to loose shots. Marlon Samuels, playing his 200th ODI, was taken out for a duck. He lunged forward to a full Chahal delivery, only for the ball to hit the pads in front of the stumps. 

Captain Jason Holder’s 38, and an unbroken 44-run ninth-wicket stand between Devendra Bishoo (22 n.o.) and Kemar Roach (26 n.o.) helped West Indies put up a good total.

Scoreboard

West Indies: Kieran Powell c Dhawan b Khaleel 51 (39b, 6x4, 2x6), Chandrapaul Hemraj b Shami 9 (15b, 2x4), Shai Hope c Dhoni b Shami 32 (51b, 2x4), Marlon Samuels lbw b Chahal 0 (2b), Shimron Hetmyer c Pant b Jadeja 106 (78b, 6x4, 6x6), Rovman Powell b Jadeja 22 (23b, 4x4), Jason Holder b Chahal 38 (42b, 5x4), Ashley Nurse lbw b Chahal 2 (2b), Devendra Bishoo (not out) 22 (26b, 3x4), Kemar Roach (not out) 26 (22b, 2x4, 1x6); Extras (lb-6, w-8): 14; Total (for eight wickets in 50 overs): 322.

Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Hemraj, 4.3), 2-84 (Kieran, 14.5), 3-86 (Samuels, 15.3), 4-114 (Hope, 21.4), 5-188 (Rovman, 30.3), 6-248 (Hetmyer, 38.4), 7-252 (Nurse, 39.3), 8-278 (Holder, 43.2).

India bowling: Shami 10-0-81-2, Umesh 10-0-64-0, Khaleel 10-0-64-1, Chahal 10-0-41-3, Jadeja 10-0-66-2.

India: Rohit Sharma (not out) 152 (117b, 15x4, 8x6), Shikhar Dhawan b Thomas 4 (6b, 1x4), Virat Kohli st Hope b Bishoo 140 (107b, 21x4, 2x6), Ambati Rayudu 22 (26b, 1x4, 1x6); Extras (lb-2, nb-3, w-3): 8; Total (for two wickets in 42.1 overs): 326.

Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Dhawan, 1.6), 2-256 (Kohli, 32.6).

West Indies bowling: Roach 7-0-52-0, Thomas 9-0-83-1, Holder 8-0-45-0, Nurse 7-0-63-0, Bishoo 10-0-72-1, Hemraj 1.1-0-9-0.

Toss: India.

Man-of-the-Match: Virat Kohli.

India won by eight wickets with 47 balls to spare.

 

 

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