India notched up their second win of their tour of the West Indies and the first in the ODI series as they overcame a fighting West Indies by four wickets. This was the first ODI of the series and was played at the Port of Spain.
Batting first, the West Indian side squandered a chance to get up to 240 through a middle-order collapse and set the Indians a total of only 215. There was a poor start to the target but half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma saved the day for the Indian side which looked a tad ragged in their chase. In the end, the Indians won with a plenty of overs but only four wickets to spare.
West Indies had a poor start to their innings after they had won the toss and decided to bat first. They lost Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo within the first eight overs of the game and before the score had got to even 30. Kirk Edwards, who had been dropped by Rohit Sharma in the slips made 21 but took 45 balls to do so and when his woes against the Indian spinners were finally ended by Harbhajan Singh, West Indies were 59 for three in the 19th over. The run-rate was barely three at this stage.
It was the fourth wicket partnership between Ramnaresh Sarwan and Marlon Samuels that took the side out of the potential mire and put them in a position from where they could look to dictate terms. The partnership was of 82 runs and saw the side get to 141 for four with 12 overs to spare. >
Sarwan had just about begun to accelerate when he fell away to the bowling of Munaf Patel and with him, the rest of the side followed in quick succession. West Indies managed only 214 with Samuels making 56.
In reply, the Indians also lost a couple of quick wickets before a consolidation and a wicket saw the Indian side being placed in a tricky situation at 61 for three. Shikhar Dhawan scored a half century before getting dismissed while a few early chances to dismiss Rohit Sharma meant that the Indian side were in a bit of a trouble themselves.
It was only a fifth wicket stand of 80 between Sharma and captain Suresh Raina that rescued the side and allowed them to get close to the West Indian total. Raina (43) departed to an ugly swipe with the side needing 31 for the win, but Sharma’s unbeaten 68 guided the team through to the win.
Sharma was declared the man of the match.