Spin­ners on song as In­dia down Windies

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ef­fec­tive spin bowl­ing and in­dis­creet shot se­lec­tion com­bined to give In­dia an ul­ti­mately com­fort­able 93-run vic­tory over the West Indies in a low-scor­ing third fix­ture of a five-match One-Day In­ter­na­tional series on Fri­day. Set a tar­get of 252 at the Sir Vivian Richards Sta­dium in An­tigua to pre­vent the vis­i­tors tak­ing an un­beat­able 2-0 series lead, the hosts were on course with Ja­son Mo­hammed and Rov­man Pow­ell in full flow in a 54-run six­th­wicket part­ner­ship.

But then In­dia’s front­line spin­ners Kuldeep Ya­dav and Ravichan­dran Ash­win swung the match de­ci­sively in their team’s favour.

From a promis­ing po­si­tion of 141 for five in the 33rd over, the Caribbean side crashed to 158 all out within the next five overs. Ya­dav and Ash­win took three wick­ets each in en­gi­neer­ing the ca­pit­u­la­tion that was fin­ished off by Kedar Jad­hav as he yorked last man Kes­rick Wil­liams with his first ball of the match.

Pow­ell had looked dan­ger­ous in get­ting to 30 be­fore a top-edged sweep off Ya­dav re­sulted in the piv­otal dis­missal via a catch at deep back­ward square leg.

Mo­hammed, who man­aged a top score of 40, be­came an­other vic­tim of the left-arm wrist­spin­ner, trapped leg-be­fore to ef­fec­tively end the con­test. Ear­lier it was Jad­hav who trig­gered a late run ex­plo­sion in part­ner­ship with Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni as In­dia reached 251 for four bat­ting first on a slug­gish pitch af­fected by pro­longed, tor­ren­tial rains the day be­fore.

Dhoni top-scored with an un­beaten 78 off 79 balls and was named man of the match, but the real im­pe­tus came from Jad­hav, who blazed 40 off 26 balls in an un­bro­ken fifth-wicket stand of 81 runs off just 46 de­liv­er­ies.

Ajinkya Ra­hane held the in­nings to­gether af­ter the loss of early wick­ets, the opener ex­tend­ing his ex­cel­lent run of form in the series with 72, his third con­sec­u­tive score over 50.

“I thought the pitch got eas­ier for bat­ting as the day went along so I was re­ally pleased with the fight we showed to­wards the end of our in­nings and then from our bowlers,” said In­dia captain Vi­rat Kohli.

“We may now be look­ing at giv­ing some of our other play­ers in the squad an op­por­tu­nity to show how they can per­form in these con­di­tions.”

‘SAT­IS­FY­ING’ FOR DHONI

Com­pre­hen­sively beaten by 105 runs in the se­cond match in Trinidad five days ear­lier fol­low­ing a rain-ru­ined no-re­sult to start the series, West Indies took early ad­van­tage of the pitch con­di­tions.

Miguel Cum­mins re­moved Shikhar Dhawan in just the third over while Ja­son Holder jus­ti­fied his de­ci­sion to bat first on win­ning the toss when he claimed the prized scalp of Kohli, who was bril­liantly caught by debu­tant Kyle Hope at gully. Ra­hane found a re­li­able part­ner in Yu­vraj Singh, the pair putting on 66 for the third wicket be­fore Deven­dra Bishoo trapped Yu­vraj lbw for 39. Dhoni then joined Ra­hane in an­other im­por­tant stand of 70, al­though both found the spin­ners es­pe­cially hard to get away on the turgid sur­face. “Our bat­ting has been per­form­ing so

well for the last year and a half that I haven’t had too many op­por­tu­ni­ties to spend time in the mid­dle in ODIs so this was very sat­is­fy­ing,” said Dhoni.

“I am con­tin­u­ing to en­joy my cricket and it’s good to see the hunger and de­sire from all the play­ers.” It was the ar­rival of Jad­hav at the crease in the 43rd over, when Ra­hane be­came Cum­mins’ se­cond wicket of the in­nings, that

shot the score up­ward.

“We started well with the ball but let things get away from us to­wards the end of their in­nings,” said Holder. “Yet again the bat­ting didn’t de­liver and that con­tin­ues to be a prob­lem.” West Indies need to win the fourth match at the same venue to­day to have a chance of squar­ing the series go­ing into the fi­nal match on July 6 in Kingston. —AFP

—AFP

AN­TIGUA: West Indies’ Ja­son Mo­hammed plays a shot dur­ing the third One Day In­ter­na­tional (ODI) match be­tween West Indies and In­dia, at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in St John’s, An­tigua, on Fri­day.

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