It was a bright day in Guwahati as players from both the countries, India and West Indies, descended to the ground. The first ODI of the five-match series commenced at the Barsapara Stadium on Sunday. Initially, fortune was with the Indian team as India won the toss and skipper Virat Kohli opted bowling in the first innings.
After their loss in the three-match Test series in Hyderabad, the West Indies were all geared up to conquer the field. A swashbuckling Hetmyer continued the onslaught and smashed six sixes and six fours, under pressure. Kieran hit straight to long-on, where Shikhar Dhawan was at the boundary when the scorecard read 246 for five. Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal took the charge to assert their dominance.
Chahal came back to trap Ashley Nurse immediately for just two runs. It was left to skipper Jason Holder, who began the job well, hitting five fours in his 38, but fell to an attempted paddle sweep in the 44th over. Kemar Roach and Devendra Bishoo made sure they batted through the innings, and along the way dispatched the loose balls to add 44 off 40 for the ninth wicket. The duo took the score past 320, usually considered the bare minimum in day-night ODIs on an Indian pitch.
With a good 323-run target team India openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan walked into the field with much confidence to win the game. A flare of victory could be seen when the debutant Oshane Thomas struck in his first over, giving the Caribbean side their first breakthrough. No sooner than Dhawan walked in, he walked back to the pavilion with mere four runs as his stumps were rattled by the youngster.
Then came Captain Kohli, who along with Rohit Sharma, led the team to an 8- wicket win against the Indies. Unstoppable, Kohli and Sharma, chased down 246 runs. While Kohli hit 140 runs off 107 balls, Sharma remained unbeaten at 152. In the process, Kohli reached his 36th ODI century in 204 innings. It took the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar 311 innings to reach 36 ODI hundreds.
After Kohli’s dismissal, Ambati Rayudu (22), who has accepted the burden of solving India’s number 4 conundrums, supported Rohit till the end, seeing India cross the victory line with eight wickets to spare.
The Indian cricket fans at the stadium applauded India’s marvellous victory while the Caribbean’s walked away with another defeat. The 2nd ODI is scheduled for October 24th.
(With Inputs from ANI)