India laboured to a 4-wicket win with 31 balls to spare in the first ODI at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain. A responsible knock of 68* (from 75 balls with 3 fours and a six) from Rohit Sharma guided India past some hurdles against a fighting West Indian attack on a turning pitch.
The visitors needing only 215 for a win seemed to have started well until the 6th over when Parthiv Patel (13) was run out owing to a bad call from Shikhar Dhawan. In the 7th over, Virat Kohli (2) edged his cut shot off Rampaul to the keeper as India got onto the backfoot slightly at 34 for 2. The innings then saw a bit of repair from Dhawan and Badrinath but in the 16th over, it was trouble again as Devendra Bishoo provided a good breakthrough for the hosts. Badrinath (17 from 30 balls) looking to play a cut shot got caught behind edging what was a quicker one from the leggie to have India at 61 for 3.
Shikhar Dhawan though not fluent with his batting managed to get another useful partnership with Rohit Sharma who started off in a careless manner but settled down nicely. The left handed Shikhar Dhawan crawled to a maiden ODI fifty and in the 26th over looking to slog sweep the leggie Anthony Martin for a six got caught at deep mid wicket. Dhawan fell for 51 from 76 balls with 3 fours and a six. It was a knock where the left hander was mostly finding the fielders in his strokeplay and when he got out, India was still in potential trouble at 104 for 4.
There was a bit of rain in the air when the Indian Captain Suresh Raina joined Rohit Sharma and the batting side just managed to keep on par with the D/L Scores. Once the drizzle cleared, Rohit Sharma who got well set started to free his arms and soon the boundaries started to flow in the company of Raina. Just when the victory was within sight, Suresh Raina threw his wicket slogging Martin into the hands of long on with India another 31 runs away. Raina scored a busy 43 from 50 balls with 4 fours in a partnership of 80 runs for the fifth wicket. The next man Yusuf Pathan (10 from 12 balls with a six) couldn’t finish the game as he got brilliantly caught and bowled by Rampaul in a straight drive on the up.
The winning runs came in the 45th over when Harbhajan Singh heaved Darren Sammy for a six over mid wicket. Rohit Sharma got the Man of the Match for his unbeaten 68. For the West Indies, the two leggies – Anthony Martin (10-0-39-2) who opened the bowling attack and Devendra Bishoo (10-1-37-1) bowled on a tight leash.