After surviving a big time reality check against Afghanistan, Team India were once again given a hard-fought time in the first half of their sixth match versus the Windies team at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. The Windies skipper Jason Holder led his team from the front along with the pace bowler duo of Sheldon Cottrell and Kemar Roach, bowling really well against the star-studded Indian batting line-up. However, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni racked up vital half-centuries to help India finish with a fighting score.
Roach gets Rohit out in a strange manner
Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first as he reckoned that it looks like a hard surface and is a used pitch, which is likely to slow down as the game progresses. The two Indian openers, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma adopted the tentative approach at the start of the innings and didn’t try to go after the Windies fast bowlers. The in-form Rohit showed his class smacking Kemar Roach for a couple of boundaries in the sixth over, but it was the Windies pacer who had the last laugh, dismissing the Indian opener off the final ball of the over.
After Rohit’s wicket, the pair of KL Rahul and Virat Kohli got together to resurrect the Indian innings. The duo played the quality fast bowling opening spells of the Windies bowlers very nicely and kept them at bay with a fine stand of 69 runs. Rahul was looking in a solid touch before once again missing out on converting his significant start to a big score. Vijay Shankar came out to bat at the number four position and got out pretty soon as well scoring just 14 runs off 19 balls.
Kohli notches up his fourth half-century of WC 2019
Roach then left India in a spot of bother at 140 for 4 after picking his third wicket in the form of Kedar Jadhav in the 29th over. Amidst the flurry of wickets falling at one end, Kohli notched up his fourth half-century of the tournament on the other side and showed brilliant composure and temperament. Unfortunately, he once again got out before getting to his century, but still played a fine innings of 72 runs off 82 balls. After his wicket, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya joined hands to guide India’s progress further in the innings and take them towards a safe total.
Dhoni and Pandya stitched a remarkable aggressive partnership of 70 runs before the latter got out while playing a big shot in the 49th over. However, Dhoni at the other end kept the attack going against the Windies team and racked up an excellent unbeaten knock of 56 runs. The wicket-keeper batsman smacked a total of 16 runs in the final over to help India post a fighting score of 268 runs in their quota of 50 overs. For Windies, Roach finished with three wickets, while Thomas and Holder picked up two scalps each.
India 268/7 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli-72, MS Dhoni-56*; Kemar Roach 3/36, Jason Holder 2/33) vs Windies.