THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India: Ravindra Jadeja starred in India’s nine-wicket series clinching win over West Indies after the tourists were skittled out for just 104 in the fifth one-day international yesterday. West Indies won the toss and elected to bat in Thiruvananthapuram but collapsed, surviving just 31.5 of their 50 overs under overcast skies to register their lowest ODI total against India. Jadeja claimed four wickets with his left-arm spin as India romped to their target in 14.5 overs to take the five-match series 3-1. The second game was a tie. It is India’s sixth successive ODI series win on home soil.
Opener Rohit Sharma, who smashed 63, and skipper Virat Kohli, who made 33, put on an unbeaten 99-run stand as the hosts raced to their target before the sun had set in the day-night game. “It was a clinical performance. Credit has to go to the bowling unit, pitching the ball in the right place,” Kohli said after the win. “We wanted to bowl first anyway and we got lucky. We were surprised West Indies batted,” he added.
Fast bowler Oshane Thomas bowled opener Shikhar Dhawan for six but the wicket proved just a hiccup in India’s march towards an easy win. Jadeja set up the convincing victory after returning figures of 4-34 from his 9.5 overs. Jasprit Bumrah combined with pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar to get two West Indies batsmen in the first two overs. Bumrah bowled Shai Hope for zero. Marlon Samuels tried to steady the innings with counter-attacking boundaries but he fell to Jadeja’s spin for 24. Jadeja also trapped big-hitter Shimron Hetmyer lbw for nine to rattle the West Indies middle-order.
Skipper Jason Holder top-scored with 25 to raise hopes of a West Indies fightback but the rest of the batting folded. Young paceman Khaleel Ahmed also made his presence felt for India, with two key strikes including the wicket of Holder. Jadeja, who was named man of the match, polished off the West Indies’ tail and India did not need the customary break after end of the first innings to get past their target. Kohli was the man of the series for his 453 runs in five matches including three centuries and a highest score of 157 not out.
The prolific run-getter became the quickest to 10,000 ODI runs in his 205th innings in Visakhapatnam ODI that ended in a tie last week. “To get runs as captain always gives me confidence. It won’t happen all the time, but when I’m going, I want to keep going longer,” said Kohli. “I don’t play for awards, just to impact the series and help the team win.” The two sides now head to Kolkata for the first of three Twenty20 internationals on Nov 4. – AFP