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Dhawan, Siraj, Thakur star in thrilling win as India go 1-0 up

India 308 for 7 (Dhawan 97, Gill 64, Iyer 54, Motie 2-54, Joseph 2-61) beat West Indies 305 for six (Mayers 75, King 54, Thakur 2-54, Siraj 2-56) by three runs

Historical past was West Indies’ for the taking. A report 309 was in sight – the very best profitable ODI chase on the Queen’s Park Oval was 272. The platform was set with a fast 117-run second-wicket partnership. Two set batters had been within the center with them needing 120 off the final 15 overs with seven wickets within the hutch. Gettable within the T20 period, eh?

Mohammed Siraj first bagged Nicholas Pooran to finish his 51-run partnership with Brandon King earlier than Yuzvendra Chahal acquired the higher of Rovman Powell. However two fast fifty-run partnerships – first between King and Akeal Hosein after which between Hosein and Romario Shepherd – raised West Indies’ hopes. Nevertheless, Chahal had King holing out to sweeper cowl earlier than Siraj and Prasidh Krishna defended 38 off the final three overs – weathering the ultimate onslaught from Hosein and Shepherd – to assist India begin the primary of three ODIs in Port of Spain with a three-run win on Friday.

This was after fifties from Shikhar Dhawan, his opening associate Shubman Gill and No. 3 Shreyas Iyer helped India to 308. They had been heading in the right direction to a rating round 350, due to the 119-run opening stand, however West Indies clawed again by various their lengths and tempo to limit India.

Having solely managed 83 for five within the final 15 overs of their innings, India’s bowlers walked out to defend their whole with a mindset of adjusting their lengths, which is how Siraj prised Shai Hope out. Siraj drew him ahead with 4 pitched-up deliveries earlier than catching him off-guard with a bumper that had Hope top-edging a catch to deep third.

Following that, Kyle Mayers and Shamarh Brooks determined to take issues on. They managed not less than one 4 in every of the following 5 overs to be positioned at 52 for 1 after ten overs. Mayers was significantly aggressive and introduced up his first ODI half-century off simply 42 balls. His march was solely slowed down by the spinners coming into assault and he broke the impasse by dancing right down to hit Yuzvendra Chahal for a six straight over the sightscreen.

With Brooks elegantly taking Shardul Thakur on on the different finish – two successive fours to welcome him into the assault and a six to kickstart his second spell – West Indies regarded properly within the temper. However Thakur dismissed each the batters in back-to-back overs. First Brooks, on 46, pulled a brief ball straight down deep backward sq. leg’s throat earlier than Mayers nicked an almost-yorker to the wicketkeeper.

Pooran joined King and added 51 off simply 56 balls to maintain them heading in the right direction. The duo acquired themselves in by discovering the gaps earlier than Pooran hit a few sixes off Prasidh whereas King hit Axar Patel over long-off.

Siraj then got here again to have Pooran mistime one to mid-on earlier than Chahal had Rovman Powell caught at slip to threaten a slide. However King, Hosein and Shepherd ensured the viewers left with fewer nails and better coronary heart charges.

Within the morning, when overcast situations gave method to brilliant sunshine, the Indian openers feasted on some ill-disciplined new-ball bowling from the hosts. Alzarri Joseph and Jayden Seales gave away as many as six boundaries within the first six overs, though they bowled a mixed 24 dot balls. On the finish of the primary powerplay of ten overs, India had raced to 73 with out loss, with Dhawan and Gill hitting 11 fours and two sixes whereas additionally going through 38 dots.

Gill – chosen forward of Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad – regarded significantly fluent in his strokeplay, driving and flicking at will. He acquired off the mark with a pristinely-timed cowl drive off Seales earlier than executing an ideal back-foot punch within the subsequent over off Joseph. He cashed in on any width offered by the seamers and welcomed left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie with a well-timed six over mid-on, and acquired to his maiden ODI fifty off simply 36 balls.

Dhawan, who had returns of 31*, 9 and 1 within the latest ODI collection towards England, was completely satisfied to depart deliveries exterior off to get his eye in earlier than liberating his arms to gather boundaries and make up for the dots. Although he performed second fiddle to Gill, Dhawan ensured the nice begin did not go to waste, mentioning his thirty sixth fifty within the format.

Simply when it regarded like West Indies would wrestle to get a breakthrough, Gill threw away an opportunity to get to triple figures. He tucked a Joseph supply in the direction of midwicket and set off on a jog, solely to be run out by a direct hit from an alert Pooran at sq. leg.

The 5 overs after Gill’s wicket introduced simply 17 runs with Motie mixing up his tempo to go along with Joseph’s short-ball assault from the opposite finish. However Dhawan broke the shackles by first slog sweeping Motie for a six over deep sq. leg after which hitting Pooran’s part-time offspin for a most over long-on an over later. Iyer then tore into Pooran, hitting a 4 and a six off successive deliveries, earlier than Dhawan deposited Motie over midwicket once more.

Nevertheless, an acrobatic catch by Shamarh Brooks at backward level ended Dhawan’s innings on 97 off the very subsequent ball. An over later, Iyer fell after his fifty – due to a full-stretch leap from Pooran at cowl – and the brakes started to be utilized on India’s innings.

However Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur managed to search out the boundary in the direction of the top of the innings – 36 got here from the final three overs – to assist India to a complete that proved simply sufficient.

S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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ESPNcricinfo is a sports news website exclusively for the game of cricket. The site features news, articles, live coverage of cricket matches, and StatsGuru, a database of historical matches and players from the 18th century to the present. As of March 2018, Sambit Bal was the editor.

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