ICC Cricket World Cup, Old Trafford
India 268-7: Kohli 72, Dhoni 56; Roach 3-36
West Indies 143: Ambris 31; Shami 4-16
India won by 125 runs
Half-centuries from Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni were enough to set up victory for India as they defeated the West Indies by 125 runs at Old Trafford.
The win now means that India move one step closer to the semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup and maintain their unbeaten record in the tournament.
Kohli, who came into this game with three successive half-centuries, made it a fourth today as he made 72 in front of 23,500 adoring fans.
Old Trafford, which was a sea of blue and filled with a cacophony of noise was treated to a Kohli masterclass as he pulled, cut and drove with conviction. Each one of his eight boundaries were greeted with rapturous applause and screams of appreciation.
The 30-year-old also reached 20,000 runs in international cricket, becoming the third Indian and the fastest man to ever reach the landmark, bringing it up in 417 innings – 36 faster than West Indian,Brian Lara, and compatriot Sachin Tendulkar, who reached it in 453 innings.
Having come in with the score on 29 for one, he and KL Rahul needed to rebuild and the pair did exactly that – adding 69 runs for the third wicket before Rahul was cleaned up by West Indies captain Jason Holder for 48.
Vijay Shankar (14) and Kedar Jahdav (7) fell cheaply and India were left on 140 for four with over 20 overs left in the innings.
Enter Dhoni, who too played with conviction despite offering a stumping chance on eight. The duo combined to add 40 before Kohli gifted Holder his second, lazily chipping the 6′ 7″ fast bowler to Darren Bravo at mid-wicket.
Dhoni continued to add the pressure and score runs as India took 82 off the final 10 overs, 49 of which came off the final five.
The wicket-keeper batsmen brought up his 50 with three balls remaining in the innings and pummelled the final ball over the infield and into 8,500 Indian fans located temporary stand.
Chasing 269 for victory, the West Indies didn’t put up much of a fight, which was a stark contrast to that of Saturday night where they fell agonisingly short of a second victory in the tournament.
Only five men – Sunil Ambris (31), Nicolas Pooran (28) Shimron Hetmyer (18) and Sheldon Cottrell (10) – made double figures as the West Indies were bundled out for 143.
They are now out of the competition with two games remaining. They’ll be hopeful that they can pick a win against Afghanistan in Leeds next Thursday.
As for India, they move into second place in the table and can more or less end England’s hopes of clinching a semi-final spot with victory at Edgbaston on Sunday.
Feature image: PA