India’s batsmen, barring skipper Virat Kohli, made hay to post a mammoth total of 387 in Vizag on Wednesday. Despite the dew, their bowling also helped them defend this score.
It all began with openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who put on a 227-run partnership in 37 overs. Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer, who came in after the openers left, capitalized on the start given by the openers by cutting loose in the last 10 overs.
Rohit Sharma scored 159 off 138 balls, which included five sixes and 17 boundaries while Rahul (102) was a tad slower, scoring eight fours and three sixes. Pant chipped in with 36 off 19 balls and Iyer scored 53 of 32. Both hit four maximums each and put on 73 in four overs.
On a batting-friendly wicket, Rahul and Sharma accelerated the scoring rate from the 21st over. Despite scoring 98 off the first twenty overs, they more than made it up later on.
Sharma got a reprieve in the 28th over when he attempted to hit Chase off the ground only to sky it to long-off where it was spilled by Shimron Hetmyer. After this let off, Sharma cut loose while Rahul kept rotating the strike. Soon after Alzarri Joseph dismissed Rahul in the 37th over, Kieron Pollard accounted for Virat Kohli who got out of the very first ball he faced.
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West Indians got off to a decent start as the openers Hope and Evin Lewis 61 in 10.5 overs before the latter got dismissed.
The dangerous Shimron Hetmyer got out soon because of an exquisite piece of fielding by Iyer, whose sharp throw found the batsman short off the crease at the non-striker’s end.
Roston Chase also didn’t last long after being done in by Jadeja. But Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope put on a 100-run partnership in 79 balls. The downfall of visitors began when Shami got rid of Pooran. A couple of overs later, Kuldeep Yadav took a hat-trick to get rid of Hope, Holder, and Joseph. That over was the death-knell for the visitors who were eventually bowled out for 280.
When Caribbeans lost five wickets for 18 runs, the writing was more or less on the wall. Rohit Sharma was declared man-of-the-match.