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All-round India demolish Windies to win series

Ind v WI, 5th ODI, report

Rohit Sharma's 63* and Ravindra Jadeja's 4/34 helped India beat the Windies by nine wickets in the fifth one-day international at the Greenfield Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram, to win the five-match series 3-1.

Windies captain Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bat first, a decision that proved to be costly in the end, especially considering the overcast conditions and the dampness in the pitch, pointed out by Indian captain Virat Kohli at the toss.

The effects were to be seen immediately as Bhuvneshwar Kumar swung the ball away from Kieran Powell, who edged it behind to MS Dhoni to give India their first wicket in the very first over of the game. Jasprit Bumrah, in the next over, brought one back in to bowl Shai Hope and reduce the Windies to 2/2.

The situation was improved to some extent by Marlon Samuels and Rovman Powell – opening the batting along with his namesake in place of Chandrapaul Hemraj – who added 34 runs for the second wicket.

But just when it looked like Samuels, who had had a dire series with the bat thus far, would do something substantial in this innings, his stay was cut short at 24 runs by Jadeja in the 12th over, as a ball stopped on the batsman, who looked to push it towards the off side but ended up lobbing a simple catch to Kohli at cover.

Shimron Hetmyer, the left-hander, walked in next and looked to take Jadeja on, as he had done previously in the series, but wasn't successful on this occasion as Jadeja trapped him lbw. 

The Windies were in all sorts at 53/4 and the situation worsened when Rovman Powell, who had held fort since the beginning of the innings, pulled a short ball from Khaleel Ahmed straight down Shekhar Dhawan's throat at square leg to make it 57/5 just after the first drinks break.

Captain Jason Holder (25) tried to hold ground from one end but he found little support from any of the remaining batsmen as the Windies couldn't get a partnership going at any stage and were bundled out for 104 in 31.5 overs.

Fabian Allen (4) hit one to Kedar Jadhav to at long-off, Keemo Paul (5) was caught by Ambati Rayudu off Kuldeep Yadav, while both Kemar Roach and Oshane Thomas – included in the XI place of the injured Ashley Nurse – were dismissed by Jadeja, who finished with four wickets.

In reply, India lost Dhawan early for six, as he played on to Thomas, but after that, Kohli (33*) and Rohit Sharma (63*) made light work of the small target and took the Windies bowling to the cleaners.

Thomas created a few chances, though, drawing Kohli's outside edge (which was dropped by Holder in the slips) and dismissing Sharma with a terrific out-swinger off what turned out to be a no-ball. But barring those few chances, it was all India as the hosts' two best batsmen in the series made merry.

Jadeja picked up four wickets for India
Jadeja picked up four wickets for India

Sharma and Kohli drove, cut and pulled the ball with authority, with one straight drive from Kohli against Paul bringing up India's 50 in the 10th over as they looked to finish things off before the mid-innings break, which was not taken earlier because Windies were bowled out well inside the 50 overs.

Sharma also brought out his pull shot to anything short-pitched by the Windies fast bowlers and used it to perfection against Holder to bring up the 50-run partnership for the second wicket in the 11th over. He hit Holder over the top off the next ball – his 200th six in ODIs – deep into the mid-wicket stands.

Rohit Sharma brought up his 37th ODI half-century
Rohit Sharma brought up his 37th ODI half-century

The Indian opener changed gears thereafter, dealing exclusively in boundaries to the extent that he came down the wicket to Paul and mishit a ball over the wicket-keeper's head when he intended to hit over mid-wicket after having already taken a boundary off the first ball of the 12th over.

Sharma completed the over with a six over the bowler's head and single to follow, which also brought up his half-century off just 45 balls – his 37th in ODI cricket.

Windies brought on the leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who was brought into the XI for this game, and Sharma welcomed him by dancing down the track and hitting the ball over long-off for six to take India to 93/1 in just 13 overs. The remaining 12 runs were knocked off in the next 1.5 overs.

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