West Indies were the underdogs entering in their match against India yesterday during the World Cup.
As expected, India beat them, but in a fashion that cricket fans would not call convincing.
India versus West Indies was played at the WACA, Perth, where the team from the Caribbean won the toss and elected to bat first.
Even before the match began, the experts predicted the game to be not a high-scoring one, for the WACA pitch is considered as one of the quickest and bounciest tracks in the world.
For the West Indies to score big, Chris Gayle had to be in top form. The southpaw decided to go out all guns blazing, in the course of which he was dropped thrice by the Indian fielders. He was eventually caught in the deep for 21 by Mohit Sharma off a Mohammed Shami bouncer.
What followed this dismissal was a sorry state for the Caribbean team, as their batting line-up fell like a pack of cards. The only player to show some form of resistance was their captain Jason Holder, who scored 57 off 64 balls.
West Indies were all out for 182 runs; coincidentally, the target, 183, was the exact number team India had scored back in 1983 to win the Prudential Cup against the same opponent.
Knowing the nature of the WACA pitch, the Indians would have known that even chasing 183 would appear daunting. And that is what happened!
Jerome Taylor bowled his heart out getting rid of the openers. Unfortunately, his quota of 10 overs was not completed and he ended up with the figures of 8-0-33-2. Andre Russell was the second successful bowler (43-2).
Virat Kohli did manage to steady the Indian batting after the fall of the two openers, but he was dismissed for 33 runs by Russell.
‘Captain Cool’ MS Dhoni remained unbeaten on 45 runs at the end of the innings along with Ravichandran Ashwin (16 runs off 32 balls).
Indian managed to beat the West Indies by 4 wickets with 10.5 overs remaining.
This defeat was special for team India and for MS Dhoni, as they earned a few accolades –
India became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals from Group B
The win over West Indies gave India its eighth consecutive win in the World Cups. In the process, India equalled the win tally it had achieved back in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup
MS Dhoni became the most successful captain away from home (59 wins), surpassing Sourav Ganguly’s record of 58 wins overseas.
India has now won all its matches in this year’s World Cup. During the press conference, Dhoni explained that now all came down to the knockout stage.
“It will be important how well we play on that particular day, especially going into the knockout stages. I feel all the teams are nicely poised. All of them have the right combination and have clicked well. It is a really balanced World Cup. We just need to keep doing what we are doing right, and take it one game at a time.”