ICC Live

In focus

Buy Tickets for 2017 - 300x250

Dhawan, Jadeja star in win over West Indies

India in semis on the back of Dhawan’s second consecutive hundred, Jadeja’s five-for; Pakistan knocked out

Dhawan, Jadeja star in win over West Indies - Cricket News
Shikhar Dhawan's second ODI ton guided India to a convincing victory against West Indies.
For nearly 20 overs at the start, and for five overs when Darren Sammy went ballistic, this was a decent contest. The rest of the time, India’s dominance was so overwhelming that the eight-wicket win – with a whopping 65 balls still remaining – didn’t flatter it in the slightest. Victory not only guaranteed a place in the semifinals, but also reduced Saturday’s much-anticipated clash with Pakistan to glorified warm-up status. Ravindra Jadeja, who finished with outstanding figures of 5 for 36, led a stirring fightback with the ball, while Shikhar Dhawan reduced the run chase to an easy stroll with his second century in as many matches.

Again, Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, who outscored him in a 101-run partnership, took the sting out of the new balls, ensuring that the batsmen who followed had to do little more than just knock it around into the gaps. On the eve of the match, Ottis Gibson, had said his bowlers would pitch the ball up and strive for swing. Instead, they produced a poor display of errant short-pitched bowling that India’s openers feasted on.

Dhawan wasn’t quite as aggressive as he had been against South Africa, but with just 234 to get, there was no need for a fifth gear. He and Rohit still needed only 93 balls for their partnership and when Virat Kohli followed up with a stroke-filled cameo of 22, the game was as good as up. Sunil Narine picked up both wickets to fall, having Rohit caught down the leg side – the original not-out decision was reversed after West Indies used the DRS – and Kohli bowled, but there was next to no menace from the other bowlers.

Dhawan was put down twice. Kieron Pollard couldn’t hold on to an extremely difficult chance while diving to his left at backward point, but Kemar Roach should have done better with a skied pull that slipped through his hands at backward square leg. Those blips aside, he struck the ball with great power and wonderful timing – cutting, pulling and driving with great finesse. He also produced the game’s wow moment, with the upper-cut behind square that brought up his hundred.

Dinesh Karthik added 109 with him in just 115 balls, and grew in confidence as the game wore on. The last stroke of the game, a loft over cover, got him to a 54-ball half-century.

When Chris Gayle – a cameo – and Johnson Charles stroked the ball with Caribbean flair, India’s decision to bowl first looked to have backfired spectacularly. Then, Jadeja, who enhances his reputation with every game, came on. Thereafter, India choked the West Indian innings like a boa constrictor does its prey, before Sammy smashed 56 from just 35 balls – 35 coming in the final two overs – to take the total to 233 for 9.

Jadeja, who finished with exceptional figures of 5 for 36, got wonderful support from Ishant Sharma and R Ashwin. Even Umesh Yadav, treated with disdain early on, returned to pick up the vital wicket of Dwayne Bravo. Until Sammy’s dramatic intervention, it hadn’t looked as though West Indies would even cross 200.

Under grey skies, there was nothing dull about the way in which Gayle began. Two pulls for four off Yadav and a booming drive off Ishant were followed by a three-iron-type biff straight back over Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s head. Two balls later though, Bhuvneshwar had his man, as a miscued cut flew high toward the slip cordon where Ashwin took a fine overhead catch.

Charles, however, was undaunted by Gayle’s exit, playing with a freedom and ability you wouldn’t normally associate with someone who averages 19 in first-class cricket. There were two mighty sixes down the ground, and he worked the ball deftly off his pads, both in front of and behind square. Even as Darren Bravo struggled for timing and fluency, the two added 78 in just 89 balls.

Charles eventually fell to Jadeja, trapped in front while playing across the line. He made 60 from 55 balls. In Jadeja’s next over, Aleem Dar turned down a leg-before shout against Marlon Samuels. India opted for the DRS, and with replays suggesting that the ball had struck pad before bat, the hero of the World Twenty20 triumph was sent on his way.

When Ramnaresh Sarwan was snaffled by Dhoni, trying to glance one down the leg side, West Indies had slumped to 109 for 4. Jadeja kept things tight, turned it very little and was clever enough with his variations in pace to make sure the batsmen couldn’t venture out confidently.

The two Bravos added 31, but laboured 55 balls over it. Ashwin ended Darren Bravo’s fitful innings with a beautifully flighted delivery, and with the Power Play taken, Dwayne Bravo hoicked Yadav to Jadeja on the deep midwicket fence.

Kieron Pollard made 22 before miscuing to long-on, and it was left to Sammy to take the team to a competitive total with his astonishing tour de force. It was nowhere near enough though, and West Indies will need to lift itself against South Africa on Friday (June 14). The winner will join India in the last four.

Similar Articles