Given the contrasting forms of India and West Indies, the clash between the two former world champions today was far from what the bygone days have produced. As expected, the Men in Blue outperformed their opposition in all three departments here at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. Virat Kohli’s side won the game by 125 runs. With 11 points on the board, India are inching closer to the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Chasing a target of 269, West Indies were shaky from the beginning. In the absence of Andre Russell, a lot was dependant on Chris Gayle. So, when he got out for just 6, the game was already India’s to lose. Wickets kept on falling at regular intervals as no West Indian batsman had an answer to Indian bowlers’ onslaught.
Sunil Ambris and Nicholas Pooran showed some resilience by building a 55-run partnership. But after they were gone, the rest of the batters fell like ninepins. Barring Kedar Jadhav, who bowled just one over, every bowler picked up a wicket as West Indies’ batting order was wrapped up within the 35th over.
Winning the toss, India didn’t get the start they were hoping for. A controversial decision saw in-form opener, Rohit Sharma, returning to the pavilion for just 18 runs. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli set up a good partnership.
The lad from Karnataka scored 48 runs while the Indian skipper failed to covert his fifty to a century once again. Hardik Pandya’s quick-fire 46 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s late explosion helped India put up an above-par total.
Virat Kohli’s 82-ball 72 was a treat to the eyes, while Dhoni and Pandya played their part brilliantly. But for the second time in a row, Mohammad Shami was the star of the match. The 28-year-old pacer picked up 4 wickets by conceding just 16 runs. By sending both the West Indian openers back within the 7th over, he broke the backbone of their batting order. Later on, he picked up the crucial wicket of Shimron Hetmyer to put the final nail in West Indies’ coffin.
Also read – Best bowling figures in world cupPublished 27 Jun 2019, 22:30 IST