India eased to a 6-wicket win with as many as 88 balls to spare in the First ODI against West Indies on Thursday at a jam packed Nehru Stadium in Kochi. West Indies batting first under hot and humid conditions were dismissed for 211 in 48.5 overs. Their innings was off to a sorry start with Chris Gayle not only running himself out for a duck in the first over but also taking an awkward fall to be carried out of the ground on a stretcher.
West Indies had a couple of good partnerships that seemed to be building up their innings but not one batsman could play the big knock that could give them a proper finish. It was a pitch full of cracks because of the lack of water. It was up and down with few balls staying low and few kicking up. There was plenty of turn for the spinners. MS Dhoni exploited the conditions perfectly using part-time off-spinner Suresh Raina for 10 overs. Dhoni’s three seamers – Shami, Bhuvneshwar and Unadkat were quite ineffective and costly.
Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja picked up three wickets each to check the West Indies. Darren Bravo was the top scorer of the innings with his 59 from 77 balls (with 4 fours and 2 sixes) before he was clean bowled by a short of length delivery from Mohammed Shami that stayed very low. Opener Johnson Charles was going great guns on 42 (from 34 balls) before he was brilliantly caught one handed to his left by Ravindra Jadeja off his own bowling. The pitch got the better of a well set no.3 Marlon Samuels, who was bowled when a Suresh Raina delivery almost rolled down to hit the base of his off stump.
The second main partnership that the Windies had was also worth 65 runs for the 4th wicket between Darren Bravo and Lendl Simmons. It was broken by Suresh Raina when a marginal lbw decision went in the bowler’s favour, again the cause of the dismissal being the low bounce while the victim was Lendl Simmons (29 from 40 balls).
The visitors lost the Bravo brothers in the space of four balls. Skipper Dwayne Bravo (24) played a rank bad shot, leaving his crease to Jadeja for a big hoick over mid wicket but only to be stumped by a mile because of the turn and bounce.
There was no fuss at all from India in the run chase although Shikhar Dhawan got out early to a wicked short ball that seamed away from the tall Jason Holder in the 4th over. The West Indians ran into the in-form Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who had all answers to their bowling variations and also to the tricks played by the pitch. The pair took the game away from West Indies with a big stand of 133 for the 2nd wicket. Rohit Sharma helped himself to an 81-ball 72 with 8 fours and a six. Virat Kohli got the Man of the Match award for his knock of 86 from 84 balls with 9 fours and 2 sixes. Kohli managed to join Sir Viv Richards in bagging the Record of being the Quickest to Score 5000 runs in ODIs, taking 114 innings like the West Indian Great.
The Second ODI of the Series will be at Vizag on the 24th which will also be a day night affair.
Related Video: India Vs West Indies, 1st ODI at Kochi