North Sound (Antigua), July 3 (IANS) Skipper Jason Holder took five wickets as West Indies defeated India by 11 runs in the fourth One Day International cricket match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here on Sunday.
Holder (5/27) led from the front towards the end and wrapped up India’s lower middle-order to snatch the victory. Alzarri Joseph took two wickets.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane (60) and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (54) contributed handsomely to India’s cause but a very slow start and some poor batting performance by other batsmen helped West Indies to outplay the visitors.
Chasing 190, India got off to a bad start as apart from Rahane no other top order batsmen — Shikhar Dhawan (5), Virat Kohli (3) and Dinesh Karthik (2) — clicked. At one time India were struggling at 47/3 in 13 overs but Rahane and Dhoni forged a crucial 54 runs partnership in 18.1 overs to stabilise the Indian innings.
Just when things seemed good at the middle, Rahane was sent packing by spinner Devendra Bishoo in the 31st over. Soon Kedar Jhadhav (10) was also dismissed by Ashley Nurse.
Middle-order batsman Hardik Pandya (20) then supported Dhoni at the other end and built at 43-run partnership before the former was sent back to the pavilion by Holder.
With 31 runs needed in four overs, Dhoni stood firm in the middle and was well supported by Ravindra Jadeja (11). It seemed that the duo will finish the game for India but, with 17 runs needed to win, West Indian skipper Holder and pacer Joseph dismissed Jadeja and Dhoni in back-to-back overs and helped the hosts to bounce back into the game.
With 14 runs needed in last over, it was an uphill task for the tail-enders. Umesh Yadav (0) Kuldeep Yadav (2 not out) and Mohammad Shami (1) could not hold their nerves at the end and as a result, India were bundled out for 178 in 49.4 overs
Earlier, pacers Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya picked up three wickets each as India restricted the West Indies to 189/9.
Umesh had figures of 3/36 while Pandya returned 3/40 as the Indian bowlers maintained a tight leash on the scoring rate right from the start.
Pacer Mohammed Shami, who replaced the in-form Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the playing XI, justified his selection with extremely economical bowling, conceeding just 33 runs in his 10 overs.
Openers Evin Lewis and Kyle Hope gave the hosts a slow but steady start with identical scores of 35.
With the runs coming in trickles, the West Indies innings was extremely slow and when Pandya dismissed Hope in the 18th over to break up the opening partnership of 57 runs, it sort of woke up the sparse crowd.
Hope hit four boundaries during his 63-ball stay at the crease.
Lewis then tried to shore up the run rate with some big shots before Indian skipper Virat Kohli pulled off an excellent catch at mid-wicket off Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling to send him on his way.
Shai Hope and Roston Chase tried to bring the West Indies back on track, adding 41 runs between them off 57 balls.
However, that was the only bit of resistance that the hosts could manage. Kuldeep brought the partnership to an end with a tossed up delivery that hit the stumps after Chase completely missed the line.
The wickets fell at regular intervals thereafter as the Indians tightened their grip on the proceedings.
Brief scores: West Indies: 189/9 in 50 overs (Evin Lewis 35, Kyle Hope 35; Umesh Yadav 3/36, Hardik Pandya 3/40) beat India: 178/10 in 49.4 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 60, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 54; Jason Holder 5/27) by 11 runs.