Kohli and Rohit make merry after the West Indies batsmen fail to get going
After the explosive fare that Australia and Pakistan served up earlier in the evening, India’s contest with the West Indies was always in danger of underwhelming the crowd at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium here on Sunday.
What followed was indeed no more than tepid. India beat West Indies away by seven wickets, the contest at no stage threatening to slip out of the former’s grasp though the win came with only two balls to spare.
Amit Mishra was again at the forefront of a controlled bowling display, taking two for 18 from his four overs, as the opponent was confined to a total of 130. If India had harboured any concerns about Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine, Krishmar Santokie, they were banished by the force of some resounding stroke-play by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, both of whom made half-centuries.
Shikhar Dhawan was the only casualty and even his dismissal in the first over was perhaps unfortunate; replays showed Samuel Badree’s delivery had pitched outside leg.
In any case, it failed to hold India back. Kohli treated Badree with disdain, thumping him deep over the fence on the leg-side. That was followed by Rohit’s attack on the same bowler, yielding successive fours through cover and point. Santokie posed no problems either, Kohli deflating him with shots of some insouciance.
The first 10 overs fetched 76, and the total soon ticked past 100. Kohli was bowled by Andre Russell for 54, his stand with Rohit realising 106 runs for the second wicket.
Earlier, a huge cheer rang out as Chris Gayle emerged to bat, India having inserted the opponent. The Jamaican was let off when he was yet to score a run, Ashwin spurning a straightforward chance at first slip.
India looked worried when Gayle sent Mohammed Shami over long on and then welcomed Mishra with a similar shot. The leg-spinner induced a mistimed stroke at once, the edge floating towards Yuvraj Singh at deep mid-wicket but inexplicably, it was put down. Gayle was on 19 then; Yuvraj had perhaps misjudged the path of the ball.
At the other end, Dwayne Smith was struggling to get bat on ball.
Neither Gayle nor he looked at ease facing Bhuvneshwar as West Indies plodded to 24 in the Powerplay. It was only a matter of time before a wicket fell. It was Smith who went, handing a return catch to Ashwin that the bowler took, diving to his left.
Marlon Samuels struck a couple of boundaries off Ravindra Jadeja to lend the innings some impetus. But it didn’t last long.
Gayle fell for 34, run out in almost daft fashion. Samuels drove the ball to point and hailed Gayle for a single; the non-striker seemed to run across in slow-motion as a quick throw from Shami ran him out.
Mishra then produced another stumping, dragging Samuels out with his flight, beating him with his turn, and depositing him on his backside as M.S. Dhoni swept the bails off. Dwayne Bravo went the very next delivery, trapped in front by a flipper.
The dangerous Darren Sammy was then caught by Rohit Sharma at long off for 11.
Lendl Simmons thought he was out soon after, but it emerged Jadeja had overstepped. From the resulting free hit, Andre Russell cleared the long-on boundary with spectacular ease.
That no-ball not only caused confusion over the total — leading to a 10-minute delay at the start of the second innings — but also hurt India. For Simmons cut loose in the final over, biffing two sixes as Jadeja went for 21 runs.
West Indies ran up a total of 129, perhaps a little more than India should have allowed, but it barely came to matter.
India would sail to a second straight win in the Super 10 while the champion would stutter in its defence of the title.
West Indies: Dwayne Smith c & b Ashwin 11 (29b, 2x4), Chris Gayle run out 34 (33b, 1x4, 2x6), Marlon Samuels st. Dhoni b Mishra 18 (22b, 3x4), Lendl Simmons c Dhawan b Jadeja 28 (22b, 1x4, 2x6), Dwayne Bravo lbw b Mishra 0 (1b), Darren Sammy c Rohit b Jadeja 11 (7b, 2x4), Andre Russell c Kohli b Jadeja 7 (5b, 1x6), Sunil Narine (not out) 7 (2b, 1x6), Denesh Ramdin (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (lb-1, w-12, nb-1): 14; Total (for seven wickets in 20 overs): 129.
Fall of wickets: 1-38 (Smith), 2-62 (Gayle), 3-74 (Samuels), 4-74 (Bravo), 5-97 (Sammy), 6-109 (Russell), 7-122 (Simmons).
India bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-0-3-0, Mohammed Shami 3-0-27-0, R. Ashwin 4-0-24-1, Amit Mishra 4-0-18-2, Suresh Raina 2-0-8-0, Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-48-3.
India: Rohit Sharma (not out) 62 (55b, 5x4, 2x6), Shikhar Dhawan lbw b Badree 0 (3b), Virat Kohli b Russell 54 (41b, 5x4, 1x6), Yuvraj Singh c Gayle b Samuels 10 (19b, 1x4), Suresh Raina (not out) 1 (1b); Extras (w-2, nb-1): 3; Total (for three wkts. in 19.4 overs): 130.
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Dhawan), 2-107 (Kohli), 3-130 (Yuvraj).
West Indies bowling: Samuel Badree 4-0-28-1, Krishmar Santokie 4-0-27-0, Sunil Narine 4-0-20-0, Dwayne Bravo 1-0-12-0, Darren Sammy 1-0-9-0, Marlon Samuels 3.4-0-22-1, Andre Russell 2-0-12-1.
Man-of-the-match: Amit Mishra.