|Scorecard:||India v West Indies|
|Player:||R Sharma, S Dhawan|
|Event:||ICC Champions Trophy 2013|
By Andy Jalil at The Oval
London Indias brilliant opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan gave their side a flying start having been set a target of 234 which proved to be totally inadequate for a team of such a formidable batting line up. The platform they built for their side eventually saw India inflict an eight wicket defeat on West Indies in their Group B match. Sharma and Dhawan put on their second consecutive century stand after the 127 against South Africa last week in the in the opening match of the Champions Trophy.
Dhawan remained unbeaten with his second ODI century which he brought up with a six in addition to his 13 fours from just 102 balls faced and India ended the match with an unbroken third wicket stand of 109 between Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik who was 51 not out.
Dhawan and Sharma took early control of the innings making batting a joy to watch against the same attack which had Pakistan look hapless at the weekend. Dhawan stroked his way fluently to wonderful second successive century following his innings of 114 at Cardiff while Sharma hit a second consecutive half century.
The hundred of Indias innings took 94 balls and curiously the first 50 had also taken 47 balls. It showed the uniformity by which the two batsmen paced the innings in an entertaining display for a sell-out crowd the majority of which were supporters of India. Sharma twice took fours of consecutive balls from Kemar Roach while his partner did so in successive overs from Darren Sammy and the spinner Sunil Narine.
Dhawan gave a chance of a catch on 41 off Dwayne Bravo but Roach misjudged and dropped by ball at long leg. Sharma meanwhile square cut Darren Sammy to point for his seventh boundary to reach 49 and the single to bring up his sixteeth ODI half century. Finally on 52 from 56 balls a thin edge off Sunil Narine went into the wicketkeepers gloves and the partnership came to an end much to the oppositions relief. By then India were well on the way.
Rain interrupted play for 28 minutes with India needing a further 30 runs. On resumption some quick scoring saw India home with 65 balls to spare.
Earlier, Ravindra Jadeja with his career best ODI figures of five for 36 his first five wicket haul in the 50-over game, he has one in Tests had helped to restrict West Indies to 233 for nine. They had begun their innings briskly but lost quick wickets to the left-arm spin of Jadeja. Chris Gayles four boundaries took him to a quick 21 from 18 balls before he snicked a catch to first slip.
But Johnson Charles, in fine form and Darren Bravo staged a 78-run stand bringing up the teams 50 from 59 balls and the hundred from 114. Certainly the momentum was with West Indies batsmen and Charles in particular was playing aggressive shots.
He hit fours of successive balls from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and in the next over Umesh Yadav was struck first to the mid-wicket boundary then a flick and a glance for four all three of consecutive balls. The shots took him quickly to 26. Not surprisingly MS Dhoni made quick bowling changes with six bowlers being used within the first eighteen overs.
But it didnt stop Charles from playing his strokes freely. He kept scoring on either side of the wicket striking fours and lifted Virat Kohli for six over extra cover which was the shorter of the two boundaries on either side of the pitch. The shot took him to 49 and his first ODI 50 followed from 46 balls. He also has two ODI hundreds to his name.
Soon after Ravichandaran Ashwin came on Charles hit his second six, over long-on but in the following over having reached 60 from only 55 balls he was trapped lbw when he expected a turn on a straight ball from Jadeja. That was the start of a mini collapse with a brilliant spell from Jadeja in which he had 3 for five in a fourteen balls.
With Charles dismissed on the total of 103, two runs later Jadejas appeal for lbw against Marlon Samuels was turned down but the review was successful and on 109 the fourth wicket fell with Ramnaresh Sarwan glancing a catch. A stand of 31 for the fifth wicket between the two Bravos ended with Darren Bravo going down the pitch to a flighted ball from Ashwin and being beaten by the spin with Dhoni taking the bails off.
The next three wickets fell within sixteen runs with Jadeja adding two of those to his haul. The end of the West Indies innings was insight but Darren Sammys cavalier batting saw him added 51 from 27 balls in the unbroken last wicket stand. He remained unbeaten with 56 from just 35 balls and 44 of those runs had come from boundaries. It was a fine exhibition of clean hitting from him with four sixes and five fours.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2013 Andy Jalil)