North Sound (Antigua), July 3 (IANS) Skipper Jason Holder took five wickets as the West Indies defeated India by 11 runs in the fourth One-Day International cricket match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here.
Seemingly cruising to a comfortable victory with 31 runs needed in the last five overs and five wickets in hand, India suffered a spectacular lower-order batting collapse during Sunday’s game. The visitors lost their last five wickets in as many overs to be all out for 178 in reply to the West Indies total of 189/9.
Holder led from the front, bagging four of those late wickets in his last three overs for overall figures of 5/27 in 9.4 overs.
Fellow pacer Alzarri Joseph took two wickets.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane (60) and veteran wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (54) battled bravely for India’s cause with patient half-centuries but a very slow start and some poor performances by the other batsmen helped the West Indies to outplay the visitors.
“We beat Pakistan a couple of weeks ago, chasing down 300, and now we have defended a reasonably small total against India. We have beaten two of the best teams in the world…. it’s a big ladder, and today is one step closer to where we want to end up,” Law told reporters after the match.
“It’s not lack of talent. I have seen these boys from close quarters for a while now, and it’s definitely not lack of talent.”
India skipper Virat Kohli praised the West Indies bowlers after the game.
“Credit to the West Indies bowlers, they created those dot balls that induced those mistakes. We faltered with the bat and that can happen in this game. We just have to put this behind us and come back fresh for the next game,” Kohli told reporters.
Chasing 190, India got off to a bad start as apart from Rahane, who scored a patient 60 off 91 balls, no other Indian top order batsmen managed to reach double figures.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan (5), Kohli (3) and Dinesh Karthik (2) failed to reach double digits.
At one time India were struggling at 47/3 in 13 overs but Rahane and Dhoni forged a crucial 54-run partnership in 18.1 overs to stabilise the innings.
Just when things seemed good in the middle, Rahane was sent packing by spinner Devendra Bishoo in the 31st over. Kedar Jadhav (10) was also dismissed by Ashley Nurse soon after.
Middle-order batsman Hardik Pandya (20) then supported Dhoni at the other end and built up a 43-run partnership before the former was sent back to the pavilion by Holder.
With 31 runs needed in four overs, it seemed that Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja (11) will carry India to victory.
But with 17 runs needed to win, Holder and Joseph dismissed Jadeja and Dhoni in back-to-back overs and helped the hosts to bounce back into the game.
Although he was the only successful Indian batsman on the day apart from Rahane, Dhoni produced an excruciatingly slow innings, reaching his half-century in 108 balls.
The former swashbuckling India captain scored 54 runs, hitting a single boundary during his 114-ball stay in the middle.
With 14 runs needed in the last over, it was an uphill task for the Indian tail-enders. Umesh Yadav (0) Kuldeep Yadav (2 not out) and Mohammad Shami (1) could not hold their nerves and India folded up at 178 in 49.4 overs
Kohli applauded the Indian bowlers, but criticised the batsmen for their flop show.
“We bowled really well to restrict them to 189,” Kohli said.
“Our shot selection wasn’t up to the mark, losing crucial wickets at crucial stages. You’ve got to keep up the momentum through the game.”
Earlier, pacers Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya picked up three wickets each as India leashed the West Indies. Umesh had figures of 3/36 while Pandya returned 3/40. The Indian bowlers maintained a tight control on the scoring rate right from the start.
Pacer Mohammed Shami, who replaced the in-form Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the playing XI, justified his selection with extremely economical bowling, conceeding just 33 runs in his 10 overs.
Openers Evin Lewis and Kyle Hope gave the hosts a slow but steady start with identical scores of 35.
With the runs coming in trickles, the West Indies innings was extremely slow and when Pandya dismissed Hope in the 18th over to break up the opening partnership of 57 runs, it sort of woke up the sparse crowd.
Hope hit four boundaries during his 63-ball stay at the crease.
Lewis then tried to shore up the run rate with some big shots before Indian skipper Virat Kohli pulled off an excellent catch at mid-wicket off Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling to send him on his way.
Shai Hope and Roston Chase tried to bring the West Indies back on track, adding 41 runs between them off 57 balls.
However, that was the only bit of resistance that the hosts could manage. Kuldeep brought the partnership to an end with a tossed up delivery that hit the stumps after Chase completely missed the line.
The wickets fell at regular intervals thereafter as the Indians tightened their grip on the proceedings.
Brief scores: West Indies: 189/9 in 50 overs (Evin Lewis 35, Kyle Hope 35; Umesh Yadav 3/36, Hardik Pandya 3/40) beat India: 178/10 in 49.4 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 60, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 54; Jason Holder 5/27) by 11 runs.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.