India started the West Indies tour with a close three-run win in the first game of the three-match ODI series at Port of Spain last Friday (22nd July).
Indian top-order dominated in the first innings while the captain Shikhar Dhawan’s 97 was a big relief for the Men in Blues. The visitors scored 308/7 (50 overs) in the first innings after losing the toss.
The Caribbean batters fought hard till the last ball and ultimately managed to score 305/6 in 50 overs. In the final over, Mohammed Siraj successfully defended 14 runs as the visitors just managed a close win to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
West Indies vs India, 1st ODI: Playing XIs
India playing XI: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wk), Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
West Indies playing XI: Shai Hope (wk), Brandon King, Shamarh Brooks, Nicholas Pooran (C), Rovman Powell, Akeal Hosein, Romario Shepherd, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Alzarri Joseph, Jaydon Seales
Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill set up the 119 runs partnership before Gill lost his wicket through a run-out. The openers helped the visitors to manage 73/0 at the end of the first powerplay.
While Gill completed his first ODI fifty in 36 balls, skipper Dhawan took 53 balls to reach the same feat. Just after Dhawan’s half-century, Gill lost his wicket after his casual running made Nicholas Pooran’s direct throw effective for the hosts. Before his dismissal, Gill scored 64 off 53 balls with the help of six fours and two sixes.
Skipper Dhawan then set up another strong 94-run partnership for the second wicket with another half-centurion Shreyas Iyer.
In 34th over, Shamarh Brooks brilliantly took a catch at backward point as the left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie dismissed the Indian skipper. Dhawan scored 97 off 99 balls, where the left-handed opening batter hit ten fours and three sixes. After Sourav Ganguly’s 56 against West Indies at Port of Spain on 2nd June 2002, Dhawan became the second Indian left-handed captain to score an ODI fifty in West Indies.
Six balls later of Dhawan’s dismissal, Shreyas completed his 10th ODI half-century in 53 balls. Soon, Pooran’s stunning one-handed catch at cover sent Shreyas back to the dressing room for 54 runs off 57 balls (5 fours and 2 sixes).
When the Dhawan-Shreyas partnership was running, India’s total was expected around 350 runs. But the visitors lost regular wickets as the hosts controlled the batting team’s run rate.
Middle-order batters Deepak Hooda (27) and Axar Patel (21) were the only other Indian batters to manage 20+ runs in that innings.
Among the Caribbean bowlers, Alzarri Joseph (2/61) and Gudakesh Motie (2/54) both managed to pick up two wickets each.
West Indies innings
The wicketkeeper-batter and opener Shai Hope (7) lost his wicket early as Mohammed Siraj provided the breakthrough in the fifth over of the innings.
But another opener Kyle Mayers and Shamarh Brooks controlled the early situation very well. They had a 117-run partnership for the second wicket. Mayers completed fifty in 42 balls.
In the 24th over, Shardul Thakur provided the breakthrough for the Men in Blues after dismissing Brooks for 46 runs off 61 balls (4 fours and only six). In his next over, Thakur got the wicket of another set batter Mayers, who scored 75 off 68 balls (10 fours and only six).
Brandon King and captain Nicholas Pooran then built up that innings and set up a crucial 51-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Pooran scored 25 off 26 balls before Siraj got his wicket.
Yuzvendra Chahal sent Rovman Powell back into the pavilion for a cheap score of six runs. However, the Caribbean team fought back brilliantly at the late moment with two back-to-back quick half-century partnerships.
King and Akeal Hosein had a 56-run partnership in eight overs as King took 60 balls to complete his third ODI fifty. When Chahal dismissed King for 54 off 66 balls (2 fours and 2 sixes), the hosts needed 57 runs off 33 balls.
Indian bowlers couldn’t take any more wickets while Romario Shepherd dominated in the 53-run partnership for the unbroken seventh wicket. Shepherd scored 39 not out off 25 balls (3 fours and 2 sixes), but his hard work couldn’t be enough for his team as he couldn’t manage the required five runs on the final ball of the match from Siraj.
Hosein remained not out on run-a-ball 32 runs with the help of two boundaries.
Among the Indian bowlers, Mohammed Siraj (2/57), Shardul Thakur (2/54) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/58) all bagged two wickets each.