Given the contrasting forms of India and West Indies, the clash between the two former world champions today was far from what the bygone days have produced. As expected, the Men in Blue outperformed their opposition in all three departments here at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. Virat Kohli’s side won the game by 125 runs. With 11 points on the board, India are inching closer to the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Winning the toss, India didn’t get the start they were hoping for. A controversial decision saw in-form opener, Rohit Sharma, returning to the pavilion for just 18 runs. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli set up a good partnership.
The lad from Karnataka scored 48 runs while the Indian skipper failed to covert his fifty to a century once again. Hardik Pandya’s quick-fire 46 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s late explosion helped India put up an above-par total.
VIRAT KOHLI – THE MILESTONE MAN
Another day, another landmark for Kohli. Having beaten Sachin Tendulkar’s record to become the quickest man to reach 11,000 ODI runs in the win over Pakistan at the same venue, Kohli made history again at Old Trafford, reaching 20,000 international runs in all formats quicker than anyone else.
Kohli did that with his 37th run in his 417th inning, going on to make his fourth successive half-century in this World Cup before pulling a half-tracker from Holder to Darren Bravo at midwicket.
That left India 180-5 in the 39th over and though Dhoni initially struggled and should have been stumped when on seven, he picked up the pace towards the end, reaching his 50 in the final over and then smashing the last ball for his second maximum to set West Indies 269 to win.
India’s bowlers ripped through West Indies to seal a 125-run win at Old Trafford that all but confirms a Cricket World Cup semi-final spot for Virat Kohli’s unbeaten side.
West Indies lost Chris Gayle when they had just 10 on the board and wickets fell at regular intervals after Sunil Ambris, who top-scored with 31 having been drafted in for his first appearance of the tournament, was out to leave his team 71-3.
India took the final eight wickets for just 72 runs, Jasprit Bumrah (2-9) striking with back-to-back deliveries before missing the chance to replicate Mohammed Shami’s brilliant final-over hat-trick against Afghanistan.
Shami (4-16) was the pick of the India attack once again as West Indies were dismissed for 143 to see their slim semi-final aspirations ended.
Team India next face the hosts which is Team England and one victory of their remaining three fixtures will ensure Team India a spot in the semi-finale.