The West Indian bowlers restricted the Indian side to 178 runs resulting in an 11-run victory to keep their hopes of a series draw alive. Earlier, the Windies batting collapsed once again in front of a fierce Indian bowling and could muster only 189, but that eventually proved to be sufficient.
West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and chose to set up a target for the Indian batting lineup and brought in Alzarri Joseph to replace Miguel Cummins. India made three changes as Virat Kohli had hinted by replacing Ravichandran Ashwin with Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar with Mohammed Shami while Yuvraj Singh had to sit out the match with a hamstring strain and Dinesh Karthik filled in his shoes.
Indian bowlers keep West Indies at bay with disciplined bowling
After choosing to bat first on what was the best batting strip of the series so far, Windies’ openers, Evin Lewis and Kyle Hope started the innings on a cautious note but scored the runs at a very pedestrian rate. But the approach of “something is better than nothing” ensured that Windies made their first fifty-run opening stand in 13 ODIs but India were still able to maintain good control with some tight bowling from both the ends. But once Hardik Pandya had Hope caught in the deep with a short ball for 35 in the 18th over, Lewis failed to pick Kuldeep Yadav’s wrong ‘un and lobbed a catch to midwicket for as many runs within a space of 27 balls. After the duo’s dismissal, the hosts found themselves with a below average 97/2 at the midway point of the innings.
Another match, another below 200 score for Windies
With both the openers back in the hut, Shai Hope and Roston Chase were supposed to be the anchor, or so West Indies thought. The duo managed to hold on with that hope for some time as Hope junior and Chase added 41 runs for the third wicket, but while looking to hit the accelerator, they got dismissed yet again. Chase repeated his dismissal from the third ODI- failing to understand Kuldeep’s Wrong ‘un and missed the flick, which resulted in an outside edge. Hope edged one down the leg side soon after, while Umesh removed Jason Holder and Rovman Powell in quick succession to bring an end to West Indies’ hopes. With seven wickets down for only 162, they couldn’t muster enough steam in the slog overs and ended with 189 runs.
Rahane and Dhoni steady the innings after a stumbling start
Shikhar Dhawan perished early in the innings for the second consecutive time in the series, this time falling to Alzarri Joseph in the third over of the innings with just 10 runs on the board. The Windies bowler kept attacking the Indian batsmen with well directed bouncers and the move paid off when Virat Kohli top edged a short delivery from Jason Holder, which was gobbled up by Shai Hope. The Windies had a chance to pile up even more pressure on the Indian batting line-up when in-form Rahane accurately flicked the ball to Jason Mohammed at square leg who spilt a sitter to give the right-hander another go at his innings. Rahane donned the role of the aggressor while Dinesh Karthik looked to set his eye in his first game of the tour but kept struggling and eventually was dismissed for 2. MS Dhoni and Rahane cleverly rotated the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking and helped India have the upper hand in the match as the Men in Blue reached the midway mark with 82-3.
Gritty Windies bowlers keep the home team’s hopes in the series alive
The duo kept dealing in singles and doubles as Ajinkya Rahane brought up his fourth consecutive fifty in the series. India reached the 100-run mark in the 31st over and shortly after that, Rahane nicked a Devendra Bishoo delivery to lose the chance of scoring the winning runs for the team. The wicket did not perturb Indian hopes until the incoming Kedar Jadhav was dismissed cheaply for 10 and suddenly the paltry target of 190 seems to be too heavy a task as Windies bowlers kept bowling with discipline which left India needing over 6 runs an over. However, Dhoni stuck to taking singles as pressure kept piling and the required run rate crept up more and more with each passing over. It all changed when Hardik Pandya and Dhoni milked Roston Chase, bowling for the first time in the series, for 16 runs followed by Alzarri Joseph who bowled five wides in an over to relieve the pressure. Just when India seemed to move closer to the series win, Windies skipper stepped up to the occasion and sent Pandya packing in the 46th over with India needing 25 off the last four. However, the incoming Ravindra Jadeja scored six off five deliveries to give India a fighting chance in the game. Dhoni finally reached his half-century in the 47th over after playing 108 deliveries which was his slowest ever half-century in ODIs. A twist in the tale still remained as Jadeja was picked up by Holder in the 48th over which shifted the momentum towards the home side. Dhoni bowed out in the 49th over which sealed the fate of India who eventually were bundled out for 178 and lost the match by 11 runs .
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