Image courtesy of: Zimbio
India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took four wickets and opening batsman Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten 57 to help their side flatten the United Arab Emirates by nine wickets in Perth.
United Arab Emirates captain Mohammad Tauqir would have been regretting his decision to bat first since none of the batsmen, with the exception of Shaiman Anwar, were able to cross the 20-run mark.
Anwar was the United Arab Emirates’ top-scorer with 35 runs, which came off 49 balls and included six boundaries.
Despite Anwar’s solid knock, the United Arab Emirates were still bowled out for 102, which is now their lowest total in ODI history.
Ashwin inflicted the most damage as he took four wickets, while Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja snapped up two wickets apiece and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 103 to win, India got off to a poor start as opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan was brilliantly caught by Rohan Mustafa at backward point off the bowling of Mohammad Naveed for 14.
Sharma and Virat Kohli amassed an unbeaten 75-run partnership, during which Sharma brought up his half-century, to lead India to victory.
Sharma finished on 57 off 55 balls, which included 10 boundaries and a six, while Kohli remained undefeated on 33 off 41 deliveries, which included five boundaries.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Naveed was the only bowler to take a wicket.
Tauqir was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “It was not a par score on this wicket, we were outplayed by the Indian [bowlers]. They bowled really well, in good areas, we should have scored 200-plus. [Ashwin] bowled brilliantly, we couldn’t cope with his bowling. He was getting good bounce and turn on this wicket. That’s our batting order, we know [Shaiman] can score a lot of runs down the order. I think the top order needs to be more responsible and score more runs for us.”
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was pleased to have won, and said: “We have had quite a few plans and it’s important in these conditions that you execute them and not give them opportunities to score freely. The bowlers have really stepped up, and in a team sport it starts to reflect in other departments too. We dropped one catch today but the fielding has been brilliant. When we are losing quite a few games outside the subcontinent, it was an area of concern that we were not getting wickets in the middle overs. Now we are getting wickets with the new ball and the spinners are able to put more pressure on the batsmen in the middle overs. We have to continue with the good effort. [Bhuvneshwar] looked good, first five overs he bowled he was looking sharper than he did when he came back from the injury and played the Test match. If he plays a few more games, we can see how he can bowl in the death overs also.”
Ashwin was named Man of the Match, and said: “I bowl at such phases of the game, it’s more of cutting the runs out, it can get a little difficult, but [the lack of a four-wicket haul] was playing on my mind today after the first five overs. When it comes to this format, I’m pretty much unselfish, it doesn’t matter if I get the numbers or not as long as I put in the effort required. My wrist is getting into a good position, and that helps with the arm ball. The breeze helped as well. It was good to play the big teams initially, now we’re on a roll.”