India have started their ODI series against the Windies with a convincing win by 8 wickets at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati.
The stadium was hosting its first ever ODI match. Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field first. Windies handed left-handed batsman Chandrapaul Hemraj his ODI debut. While the Indian contingent rested Kuldeep Yadav and provided Khaleel Ahmed with an opportunity.
Kieran Powell started the innings with a perfectly timed shot that fetched him a boundary. However debutant Hemraj could not make his opportunity count as he was dismissed by Mohammed Shami in the fifth over for just 9 runs. Powell looked to be positive despite losing his partner and he was aptly supported by Shai Hope. Powell smashed six fours and two sixes to reach to his fifty before being picked up by Khaleel Ahmed for 51.
Marlon Samuels departed without disturbing the scorers as the visitors were reduced to 86-3 in the 16th over. Yuzvendra Chahal beautifully deceived Samuels who was adjudged LBW. Samuels’ dismissal welcomed Shimron Hetmyer to the crease. The southpaw immediately looked to take on the charge on the Indian bowlers. Shami was successful in getting his second wicket when he found a knick of Hope to hand MS Dhoni a relatively easy catch. Rovman Powell and Hetmyer both looked confident and played their natural free-flowing shots. The duo added 74 runs for the 5th wicket before Ravindra Jadeja cleaned up Powell.
Hetmyer cleared the ropes with ease. Six fours and six boundaries helped him to reach to his century in just 72 deliveries. He was finally dismissed by Jadeja for 106 when the scorecard read 248-6. Late contributions from Jason Holder, Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach helped Windies post a formidable score of 322 runs in their quota of 50 overs.
Indian openers have been in brilliant form recently. The duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were key to India’s Asia Cup triumph. But Dhawan could not continue his fine form in the coloured jersey as he dragged on the ball to his stumps to be dismissed for just 4 runs. Virat Kohli’s arrival on the crease was cheered by a huge roar from all the fans in the stadium. And India’s skipper responded right away. The ever positive Kohli started on the front foot from his first delivery. Windies’ bowler had no answer to Kohli’s flamboyancy.
Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, was looking to support Kohli by nudging singles and hitting the bad deliveries to the boundary. Kohli’s charge increased by each passing delivery. A beautiful cover drive bestowed him with his 36th ODI century. Rohit was not to be left behind. He too went toe to toe with his captain. And just like Kohli, a cover drive was enough for him to get to his 20th hundred in one-dayers. Both the batsmen looked even more confident after completing their respective hundreds. An innings which included 21 fours and two sixes finally came to an ended when Kohli was stumped of Bishoo’s bowling. He was dismissed for 140. But Rohit Sharma didn’t lose his concentration despite losing his captain. The Mumbai Indians captain hit 15 fours and 8 sixes as he ended the match with an unbeaten score of 152 and finished India’s chase with the help of Ambati Rayudu.
Jason Holder and his men have a lot of questions to answers. Despite putting on a score of 322 they managed to lose the match with 47 balls remaining raises a lot of questions on the Windies team and their character. The series now moves to Vizag where the second ODI will be contested on 24th October.
Windies: 322-8(50 o.)
Shimron Hetmyer: 106(78)
Kieran Powell: 51(39)
Yuzvendra Chahal: 10-0-41-3
India: 326-2(42.1 o.)
Rohit Sharma: 152*(117)
Virat Kohli: 140(107)
Devendra Bishoo: 10-0-72-1
Man of The Match: Virat Kohli