Ahmedabad: Yuzvendra Chahal’s 4/49, Washington Sundar’s 3/30 and captain Rohit Sharma’s quick-fire 60 set the base for India to win the series opener against the West Indies by six wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. On a pitch that provided turn for spinners and some help for pacers, Chahal and Sundar took seven wickets between themselves to help the hosts bowl out West Indies for 176.
India, despite Sharma’s scintillating knock, went from 84/0 to 116/4 in 17.3 overs. But Suryakumar Yadav (34 not out) and debutant Deepak Hooda (26 not out) ensured there were no more hiccups as India achieved the target with 22 overs to spare and end their landmark 1000th ODI on a winning note. For the tourists, Jason Holder (57) and Alzarri Joseph (2/45) were the bright spots.
Chasing a lowly 177, India had a solid start as Sharma and Ishan Kishan smashed boundaries at will. While Sharma looked gorgeous in leg-side glances and drives through off-side, Kishan was eye-catchy in his pulls through mid-wicket.
Sharma took a special liking to Kemar Roach, smashing the pacer for boundaries through both sides of ‘v’ in the eighth over. The right-hander followed it up with fours through pull over square leg and deliberate late cut through the third man followed a cracking six pulled over square leg.
Post first power-play, Sharma reached his 44th half-century in the format and continued to hit boundaries off Joseph and Akeal Hosein. It was Joseph, though, who broke the 84-run opening stand. Getting one to nip in from outside off, Joseph rapped Sharma high on his pads while trying to flick. Sharma took the review but the umpire’s call on DRS while hitting the stumps meant he had to depart for 60.
Virat Kohli fetched boundaries on his first two balls but mistimed a pull off Joseph and the top-edge flew to fine-leg to become the second big scalp of the right-arm pacer in the 14th over.
Rishabh Pant got going with two boundaries while Kishan continued to hold the fort. But Kishan, in an effort to unsettle Hosein, went for a big slog-sweep but picked out backward square leg to perfection.
In the very next over, Pant was run-out from non-striker’s end as a straight drive from Yadav was met by Joseph sticking his right foot out on follow-through and deflected to hit the stumps. Yadav swept and played a delicate late cut to pick successive boundaries off Hosein while Hooda fetched his first boundary in ODIs with a back-foot punch through mid-off off Joseph. The duo crunched boundaries while stitching a handy stand of 62 off 63 balls before Yadav finished off the chase with a slice through backward point.
Earlier, Shai Hope smashed Mohammed Siraj for consecutive boundaries through the off-side. But on the next ball, Siraj had his man as Hope chopped on a scrambled-seam delivery to his stumps in an attempt to drive.
Brandon King and Darren Bravo found boundaries till both of them were taken out by Sundar in the 12th over. While King chipped a slower off-break to mid-wicket, Bravo was beaten by lack of turn and was rapped on pads. Sundar convinced Sharma to take the review and replays showed the ball hitting the stumps.
India continued to keep a lid on the scoring rate as West Indies continued to give wickets to spinners. Nicholas Pooran missed the sweep off Chahal and was hit low on the front pad after the ball turned in. The umpire gave it not out but India took the review and got to change the decision as ball-tracking showed the ball crashing into the middle stump.
After Pooran became Chahal’s 100th scalp in ODIs, the leg-spinner dismissed captain Kieron Pollard on the very next ball. Pollard, in a bid to loft down the ground, didn’t use his feet and missed the googly from Chahal, only for his off-stump to be rattled for a golden duck.
In his next over, Chahal bagged his third wicket as Shamarh Brooks tried to defend a sharply turning delivery, taking an edge to Pant. The on-field umpire gave it not out but it was overturned on review as ultra-edge showed a spike on the ball going past bat.
West Indies’ slump continued as Akeal Hosein under-edged to Pant off Krishna. But Holder and Fabian Allen built a much-needed partnership of 78 off 91 balls for the eighth wicket. Allen dealt in fours off Siraj and Chahal while Holder was trading in sixes thrice off Chahal and once-off Shardul Thakur.
The partnership ended when Allen chipped the ball back to Sundar for a soft dismissal. By then, Holder had reached his fifty but, in an attempt to punch on the up, he was undone by extra bounce from Krishna and gave an outer edge to Pant. Chahal wrapped the innings as Joseph holed out to long-on.
Brief scores: West Indies 176 all out in 43.5 overs (Jason Holder 57, Fabian Allen 29; Yuzvendra Chahal 4/49, Washington Sundar 3/30) lost to India 178/4 in 28 overs (Rohit Sharma 60, Suryakumar Yadav 34 not out; Alzarri Joseph 2/45, Akeal Hosein 1/46) by six wickets