Ind vs WI 1st ODI: Kohli, Rohit set up easy win
The Men in Blue registered a comprehensive 6-wicket victory over the Windies in the 1st of the three ODIs held at Kochi, thanks to a brilliant bowling effort from the spinners and a solid top-order batting display.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the West Indies batting line-up suffered a major blow as Chris Gayle was run-out on a duck in the very first over of the innings. The consolidation began with a 65-run partnership between Johnson Charles (42) and Marlon Samuels (24) for the 2nd wicket. Ravindra Jadeja then took a stunning diving catch off his own bowling to dismiss Charles and India had their breakthrough. It was followed by another quick dismissal, as Raina cleaned up Samuels on a ball that kept surprisingly low. West Indies were reduced to 77/3 in the 14th over.
Darren Bravo (59) started the counter-attack with 4 fours and 2 sixes that brought up his half-century and another 65-run stand with Lendl Simmons (29) for the 4th wicket. But the middle-order fell like ninepins as Raina, Jadeja and Ashwin picked wickets in quick succession to restrict the opponent to a meager total. West Indies were bundled out for 211 in 48.5 overs. Jadeja and Raina collected 3 wickets each, while R Ashwin bagged a couple.
The Indian chase was anchored by Rohit Sharma (72), who took charge after losing Shikhar Dhawan (5) early. Sharma went on to stitch a 2nd wicket 133-run stand with Virat Kohli (86), and India looked on course for a comfortable victory with the duo at the crease. Kohli slammed 9 fours and 2 sixes on his way to becoming the joint-fastest batsman to 5000 ODI runs, alongside Sir Viv Richards. Yuvraj Singh (16*), who was promoted to No.4, struggled initially but held his nerves towards the end. Sunil Narine struck to remove Raina (0) but it was too late for the Windies, as MS Dhoni (13*) once again led his team to an easy victory in 35.2 overs.
India take a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series. The 2nd ODI will be played on November 24 at Visakhapatnam.