India vs West Indies 4th ODI: Kohli’s century guides India to comfortable win

Kohli celebrates after bringing up his 20th ODI century

Kohli celebrates after scoring his 20th ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India batsman Virat Kohli was back at his best during the fourth ODI against the West Indies in Dharamsala as he smashed a breathtaking 127 to help his side cruise to a 59-run win.

Kohli was well supported by opener Ajinkya Rahane and batsman Suresh Raina as they both scored half-centuries.

However, West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels deserves a lot of credit for his valiant knock of 112.

West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo would have been brooding over his decision to bat first after Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan amassed a 70-run partnership before Dhawan was caught by Darren Bravo at deep square leg off the bowling of Andre Russell for 35.

Rahane and Kohli kept the runs flowing with a 72-run partnership, during which Rahane brought up his half-century, before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Sulieman Benn.

However, Rahane was actually not out since replays showed that the ball was pitching outside off-stump and going on to miss the stumps.

Rahane’s brilliant knock of 68 came off 79 balls and included seven boundaries.

Rahane got India off to a good start

Rahane got India off to a good start

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Kohli and Raina kept India in the driver’s seat with a 138-run partnership, during which both batsmen registered their half-centuries, before Raina was caught behind off the bowling of Jerome Taylor.

Raina’s entertaining innings of 71 came off 58 balls and included three boundaries and five sixes.

Raina hammered three boundaries and five sixes during his stellar knock of 71

Raina hammered three boundaries and five sixes during his stellar knock of 71

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni only made six runs before he was run out by Kieron Pollard.

Ravindra Jadeja fared no better as he was caught by Russell at mid-off off the bowling of Jason Holder for two runs.

Kohli went on to bring up his 20th ODI century before he was run out off the final ball of the innings.

Kohli’s outstanding knock of 127 came off 114 balls and included 13 boundaries and three sixes.

Thanks to a brilliant all-round performance by India, they finished on 330/6 off their 50 overs.

Taylor, Holder, Russell and Benn picked up one wicket apiece.

Chasing a mammoth total of 331 to win, the West Indies got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Dwayne Smith was caught by Mohammed Shami at mid-on off the bowling of Umesh Yadav for a duck.

Pollard failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught by Dhawan at first slip off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar for six runs.

Darren Bravo and Samuels stabilised the innings with a 56-run partnership before Bravo was clean bowled by Akshar Patel for 40.

Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin only made nine runs before he was caught by Patel at deep square leg off the bowling of Jadeja.

Jadeja struck again just three balls later when Dwayne Bravo was given out lbw for a duck.

Darren Sammy mustered 16 runs before he was caught and bowled by Patel.

Samuels and Russell steadied the innings with a 57-run partnership before Russell was clean bowled by Yadav for a quickfire 46, which came off 23 balls and included six boundaries and three sixes.

Holder accumulated 11 runs before he was caught by Raina at extra cover off the bowling of Kumar.

Taylor also made 11 runs before he was cleaned up by Shami.

Samuels ended up registering his seventh ODI century before he was clean bowled by Shami.

Samuels’ gutsy knock of 112 came off 106 deliveries and included nine boundaries and six sixes.

Samuels' valiant innings of 112 went in vain

Samuels’ valiant innings of 112 went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Kumar, Yadav, Shami, Patel and Jadeja claimed two wickets each as the West Indies were bowled out for 271.

Bravo applauded his team for putting up a good fight, and said: “[Tough] not only this morning, but tough so far on the tour. Credit to the team, despite the situation off the field we played our hearts out. Want to congratulate Samuels on another hundred. To the team and coaching staff, everyone stuck together. Thanks to them. Thanks for coming out, people in India. We look forward to representing the West Indies sometime [in the future]. Unlucky for us Virat got his form back. But we wish him the best. Can’t fault the effort of our boys.”

Dhoni was pleased to have won the match, and said: “Virat played well in the last game and continued from there and it’s important he gets back into good nick. He took his time, otherwise he is naturally aggressive. I thought he would attack the spinners, but he took his time and built his innings. A few more runs would have been good, when we were going back to the hotel yesterday at 7.30 pm, we thought we would want 350-360. But we did well with the new ball, Bhuvi bowled really well.

“This is the first time I’ve seen him [Akshar] bowl and kept to him. He’s very consistent, not someone who gets hit too easily. I tried to use him in all situations. I’m very happy with his bowling, despite the dew he bowled really well. We built pressure with him. We knew they bat deep. We have done quite well in all three departments. [We need to be a] bit more consistent in the bowling [department]. There will be ups and downs, but what’s important is not to give too many. But, with the change in rules, we won’t know what’s good in the last 10, or five overs. We have to get a fair benchmark figure there.”

Kohli was named Man of the Match, and said: “The first run scored in Delhi felt like my first run for India. The kind of cricket I’ve played in the last four five years, I guess people expect runs from me everytime. I guess it’s all about clearing your mind and being positive and taking my time and not rushing into it. [On turnaround] I’m someone who relies on visuallisation a lot. I visualised myself playing against the bowlers the next day. I’m a confident player and that works for me. Some time off helped to forget the bad phase, hopefully I can build on it. It was more mental than physical, had to do a bit of alteration with the way I was setting up.

“I’ve had some memorable partnerships with Raina, starting from that 337 chase in Hobart. The idea is me, him and MS bat the team through in the middle order and hopefully we can take this form through to the World Cup and it will be lethal for us and dangerous for other teams. [With this Man of the Match] Not being overexcited, trying to stay as calm as possible and that’s what I learned in the last two months.”

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