World Twenty20 17th Match: Kohli and Sharma lead India to steady win

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Kohli and Sharma both scored half-centuries

India’s batting duo of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma clinically dissected the West Indies’ bowling attack to lead their side to a seven-wicket win in Mirpur.

India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also performed well during the match as he claimed three victims with his left-arm spin.

Despite dropping Chris Gayle on zero and 19, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first as West Indies opener Dwayne Smith was caught and bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin for 11.

Gayle went on to make 34 runs before he was run out by Mohammed Shami.

Marlon Samuels made 18 runs before he was stumped by Dhoni off the bowling of Amit Mishra.

Mishra struck again the very next ball when he trapped Dwayne Bravo lbw for a golden duck.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy only made 11 runs before he was caught by Rohit Sharma at long-off off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.

Andre Russel failed to have an impact as he was caught by Virat Kohli at deep midwicket off the bowling of Jadeja for seven runs.

Lendl Simmons made a quickfire 27 before he was caught by Shikhar Dhawan off the bowling of Jadeja.

The West Indies eventually finished on 129/7 off their 20 overs.

Jadeja was the highest wicket-taker with three wickets, while Mishra picked up two wickets and Ashwin chipped in with one.

Chasing 130 to win, India got off to a horrible start as Dhawan was given out lbw off the bowling of Samuel Badree for a duck.

Kohli and Sharma made up for the early loss of Dhawan with a 106-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Kohli was clean bowled by Andre Russell for 54 off 41 balls, which included five boundaries and a six.

Yuvraj Singh only scored 10 runs before he was caught by Gayle at slip off the bowling of Samuels.

There was no more drama after that as Raina smashed the first ball he faced for four to lead India to a seven-wicket win.

Sharma remained unbeaten on 62 off 55 balls, which included five boundaries and two sixes.

Badree, Samuels and Russell all took one wicket each.

Sammy was unimpressed with his side’s performance, and said: “We just didn’t respond well enough to their spinners, it took us a long time. Credit to them, they executed well.

“It was good to see our bowlers take it to the last over because net run rate could come into play. Not enough runs on the board but happy with the way the bowlers came back. We know what our top order can do, it’s just one game, we have three to go. Not [hitting the] panic button, we are going to regroup and come back in two days time.”

Despite winning the match with only two balls to spare, Dhoni believes his side played “well”.

“We are playing well, so it doesn’t really matter that everyone should get a chance, our bowlers have bowled well, they have been tested,” he said. ” In the coming matches the other batsmen may get a chance. We don’t really have a banker, a bowler to bowl the 18th-20th over. We are playing games to some extent, to see who is better suited.

“It was important for Rohit to bat through, we all know the kind of batsman he is. On a pitch like this he will take plenty from this game. Let’s take it one game at a time, no point thinking too far ahead. We could have finished it an over earlier but that was up to the batsmen in the middle

In a rather surprising move, Mishra was named Man of the Match for his excellent bowling figures, and said: “I’ve done a lot of hard work in the nets for my variations and I’m happy they are coming out well.”

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