Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the cricket captain of India, scored 45 unbeaten runs to lead India to victory by four wickets over West Indies on Friday. With the win, India sails into the quarter finals of the .World Cup.
India, the last World Cup champion, triumphed over the Caribbean due to a magnificent spell of bowling by Mohammad Shami who took 3 for 35, and was the main architect of India’s win. Earlier, West Indies won the toss, and elected to bat first, and were all out for a paltry 182 runs. It could score even those many runs courtesy the West Indies captain, Jason Holder, who scored 57 runs, his second half century and the highest score in a one-day international, to bring some respectability to his team’s total. The team could not bat for the stipulated 50 overs.
India, also, struggled to score the necessary 183 runs for a win, and lost 6 wickets in the process. The pitch offered plenty of bounce and movement to the ball, and West Indies bowlers were effective right from the go. India kept losing wickets at regular intervals before Dhoni kept cool and held his nerve to guide Team India to the fourth consecutive win in the ongoing World Cup tournament. Indian team won with 65 balls to spare, but it was not an expected emphatic win for India. Reduced to 107 for 5 at one stage, Captain Cool, as Dhoni is commonly referred, once again demonstrated his prowess as the greatest finisher in the history of cricket. The right handed batsman added 27 runs with Ravindra Jadeja (13) for the sixth wicket, and 51 for the unbroken seventh wicket with Ravichandran Ashwin, 16 not out.
Virat Kohli contributed 33 off 36, while Ajinkya Rahane scored 14 runs. Jerome Taylor dismissed Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, the openers, cheaply which provided a glimmer of hope for the Caribbean. However, West Indian bowlers bowled 19 wides and three no-balls that did no good to their cause. Shami, on a comeback after missing the last match against the UAE due to knee injury, put West Indies in trouble by dismissing Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle, the hard hitting openers, for 6 and 21 respectively with the new ball. Umesh Yadav took two wickets for 42 runs, to restrict West Indies to 182 all out. Gayle who scored 215 against Zimbabwe only the last week was dropped twice before he was finally out for 21, and could not exhibit his flamboyance against India once again.
With this win, India maintained an unbeaten record in the present World Cup so far.