Port of Spain [Trinidad and Tobago]: Brilliant half-centuries from Kyle Mayers and Brandon King went in vain as West Indies succumbed to a painful three-run defeat to India in the first ODI of three-match series here at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad on Friday.
With this victory, India has a 1-0 lead in the series. Fans were treated to a thrilling game of cricket. India posted a massive 308/7 in their first innings. Half-centuries from captain Shikhar Dhawan (97), Shubman Gill (64) and Shreyas Iyer (54) were extremely instrumental in taking the Men in Blue to a huge score. Gudakesh Motie was the pick of the bowlers with 2/54 in ten overs.
In chase of 309, half-centuries from Kyle Mayers (75) and Brandon King (54) helped Windies stay alive in the game. In the end, Akeal Hosein (32*) and Romario Shepherd (39*) almost took their side across the finishing line, but Indian bowlers held their nerves to seal a thrilling three-run win. Mohammed Siraj was the best bowler for India, with 2/57 in ten overs. He held his composure in the final over and did not allow the Windies to reach the target.
Put to bat first by WI, India was off to a fine start. Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill hit the Caribbean bowlers all over the park, finding the gaps intelligently. Gill scored his maiden fifty, while Dhawan reached the landmark for the 36th time in his career.
The duo put on a 119-run stand which was broken due to an unfortunate run out of Gill for 64.
Shreyas Iyer was the next man up on the crease and put on a 94-run stand with Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan fell three runs short of his century when Motie dismissed him with assistance from Shamarh Brooks. Motie soon got the wicket of Shreyas Iyer and India was at 230/3.
Suryakumar Yadav (13) and wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson (12) fell early and West Indies made a small comeback in the game with these two quick scalps.
With score reading 252/5, Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel put on a 42-run stand, before the pacer Alzarri Joseph clean bowled them for 27 and 21 respectively.
At the end of their 50 overs, India scored 308/7, with Shardul Thakur (7*) and Siraj (1*).
Chasing 309, the Windies were off a shaky start. Siraj gave India an early wicket by dismissing wicketkeeper-batter Shai Hope for just 7, leaving the hosts at 16/1.
Mayers and Brooks stabilised the WI innings, putting on a stand of 117-runs. They caused a lot of trouble for Indian bowlers. Shardul Thakur brought back India in the game by breaking this stand, dismissing Brooks for 46 and then Mayers for 75.
With the score at 138/3, West Indies needed another partnership. Brandon King and captain Nicholas Pooran provided just that, stitching a 51-run stand, which ended with the skipper falling for 25 to Siraj after Prasidh Krishna caught him at mid-on.
Rovman Powell fell quickly for six runs to spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. At this point, West Indies was 196/5.
King and Akeal Hosein revived the hopes for the hosts with another useful partnership of 56 runs, which ended with the former being caught by Iyer at the deep-extra cover for 54 on a Chahal delivery. WI was 252/6, left with 57 to win and four wickets in hand.
The hosts did not lose hope and kept scoring. Hosein was joined in by Shepherd. The duo maintained a solid running between the wickets and hit some big strikes as well. In the final over, WI needed 15 runs to win. Siraj kept his composure in the final over despite giving away runs through some extras and being hit for a four and took India to a win by three runs. West Indies finished their innings at 305/6.
Siraj was the pick of the bowlers with 2/57. Thakur and Chahal also took two wickets.
Dhawan was adjudged as the ‘Man of the Match’ for his knock of 97.
Brief Scores: India: 308/7 (Shikhar Dhawan 97, Shubman Gill 64, Gudakesh Motie 2/54) won against West Indies: 305/6 (Kyle Mayers 75, Brandon King 54, Mohammed Siraj 2/57) by three runs.