India wrap up WI ODIs with a 4-1 victory margin
India won the 5th ODI against West Indies by 34 runs at Chennai to seal a 4-1 series win even as Royal Challengers Banglaore’s batsman Virat Kohli became the highest run getter in ODIs in the calendar year 2011.
After winning the toss for the fifth time in five ODIs, India chose to bat first and posted 267/6. WI got close thanks to a 119 from Kieron Pollard before being bowled out for 233.
Having captured the series at Indore, Virender Sehwag the double centurion from the previous game, spinner R Ashwin and pacer Vinay Kumar made way for Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane and Irfan Pathan while Gautam Gambhir assumed captaincy.
Kemar Roach gave WI a superb start, reducing India to 1/2 in the first over of the game but first Gambhir and Tiwary and later Kohli and Tiwary rebuilt India’s innings to take them to 267/6. Tiwary made 104, converting his first international 50 into a ton in just his sixth ODI before retiring hurt and Kohli made 80 before perishing in the search for quick runs.
With the 15th run of his innings, Kohli overtook Jonathan Trott of England as the leading run scorer in ODIs in 2011. Kohli’s 34 innings from as many matches this year have seen him compile 1381 runs with four 100s and eight 50s at an average of 47.62, an improvement from last year's second place finish for the youngster.
Quick wickets and disciplined bowling in the death overs from WI saw India post only an underwhelming 267/6 but Irfan Pathan struck with the very first ball of WI’s batting to dismiss Lendl Simmons.
WI collapsed to 36/4 in the 10th over thanks to strikes from RCB pacer Mithun who took 2/32, dismissing Marlon Samuels with a wonderful short of a length delivery that reared up and deviated late away from the batsman, taking an edge and being pouched by the keeper. Mithun worked the angles for his second wicket, getting Jason Mohammed lbw for his best performance in ODIs yet.
Kieron Pollard and Denesh Ramdin played calculated cricket thereon, managing to double the score in just 5 overs, the latter rotating strike while the former decided to hit WI out of trouble. Ramdin received a poor lbw decision, leaving WI at 78/5 in the 16th over and Andre Russell joined Pollard in the middle.
The duo constantly managed to hit boundaries and put on 89 runs in just 13 overs before a superb piece of fielding from Gambhir caught Russell short of his crease for 53 and left WI at 167/6.
Despite wickets falling regularly at the other end, Pollard had no problems smashing India’s bowlers into the stands. He was dropped by Kohli on 99, the resultant four bringing up his maiden ODI ton off 98 balls with four 4s and eight 6s. WI were 9 down by then but he followed it up with two more sixes, threatening to take them home.
With 35 runs required from 6 overs, Pollard was the last man out, going for another six, he was caught at long on for 119 off 110 balls as India sealed a 34 run win.
With the consistent performers from the ODI team being named to the Test side on the tour of Australia, India will be proud of their performance in a series where key players were rested.