West Indies faced off against India in the 34th match of World Cup 2019 at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester. This was a must-win game for the men from the Caribbean if they hoped to stay in contention for the semifinals. On the other hand, India wanted to win this match to give themselves a great chance of finishing at the top of the standings.
Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch which looked on the slower side. Rohit Sharma got out early, but Kohli himself stabilized the innings with KL Rahul.
Rahul failed to make use of a good start yet again as he got out for 48. After his dismissal, India kept losing wickets at regular intervals as the West Indies built pressure on the batsmen.
West Indies had a chance to pile up even more pressure when Shai Hope had an opportunity to stump MS Dhoni. At that stage, India were 154/4, and another wicket would have made life very difficult for Kohli's men. It was a regulation stumping and Hope had two bites at the cherry with Dhoni well out of his crease, but he failed at both attempts.
Dhoni made the West Indians pay for their mistake as he scored 56 runs off 61 balls to take India's score past 260.
Chasing a target of 269 on this pitch was never going to be easy for West Indies. It got even more difficult when Mohammed Shami took two early wickets, while Jasprit Bumrah kept a check on the scoring from the other end.
Sunil Ambris and Nicholas Pooran built a good partnership to give some hope to their team, but the task was too huge. Once the two set batsmen were out, West Indies collapsed as they lost six wickets for just 41 runs.
The tailenders hit some good shots to entertain the crowd but they were never going to threaten to chase the score. Eventually, India won the match by 125 runs, to make it 11 points in six matches - which means that men in blue now have a foot in the semifinals.
On the other hand, West Indies' hopes of making the semifinals are over. They would be ruing Hope's missed chance against Dhoni, and wondering what might have happened if he had completed the stumping at that crucial stage of the match.
Also read – Most maiden overs in world cupPublished 27 Jun 2019, 23:07 IST