India clinched the three-match ODI series 2-1 with a sensational four-wicket victory against West Indies at Cuttack in a tense affair. The home side was 30 runs away from the tall chase of 316 runs when Shardul Thakur came out swinging. The pair of Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja needed only 15 balls to score the required runs. This was India’s last international match of the year 2019.
India contain Caribbean top order
After inserting visitors to bat first in the decider, Indian pace bowlers kept a tight leash in the initial overs. The openers did break out sporadically but the fielding side remained on the top. Evin Lewis laboured to an uncharacteristic 50-ball 21. Shai Hope and Roston Chase steadied the innings and helped the side set a base while Shimron Hetmyer (37 from 33 balls) tried to up the ante. At 144/4 in 31.3 overs, West Indies needed a strong finish.
Pooran-Pollard punish the bowlers
With two big-hitters at the crease, West Indies’ resurrection was a boundary affair. Pooran’s eye-pleasing strokeplay complemented Pollard’s powerplay as the duo started piling up runs. They neutralised the spin threat by launching Kuldeep Yadav for sixes. In the last five overs, Pooran (89 off 64 balls) and Pollard (74 not out off 54 balls) tonked India’s pacers and bashed 77 runs. West Indies finished with 315/5 in their 50 overs riding on a 135-run partnership between the two big-hitters.
Rahul and Rohit continue their good form
India’s in-form openers did not disappoint in the final. Rohit Sharma extended his excellent 2019 as he brought up another 50-plus ODI score. KL Rahul also continued his sensational form and reached his fifty an over before Rohit. Jason Holder sent Rohit back when he looked set for another hundred while Alzarri Joseph accounted for Rahul. By the time openers returned to the pavilion, India were 167/2 in 29.5 overs.
Kohli, Thakur seal a memorable chase
Virat Kohli in successful run chases in ODIs:
Matches: 88 mts
And India win in another run chase!#INDvsWI
— 100MB (@100MasterBlastr) December 22, 2019
The chase master, Kohli, looked all set to perform his routine of securing victory single-handedly. While he stood tall at one end, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Kedar Jadhav fell at the other end. Just when it seemed as if he was about to take the game, Keemo Paul turned the match on his side. India were still 30 runs away but then came the real surprise. Thakur smashed a boundary on his first ball. He followed it with a four and a six in the next over which effectively sealed the win for India. The match ended with eight balls remaining as the third umpire signalled a no-ball when India needed a single run.