Dashing Dhawan powers India to series win over Windies
India today clinched the ODI series against West Indies 2-1 with a comfortable five-wicket victory
Kanpur: India today clinched the ODI series against West Indies 2-1 with a comfortable five-wicket victory in the third and final match here, riding on Shikhar Dhawan’s sparkling century.
The Indians first restricted West Indies to 263 for five and then overhauled the target with 23 balls to spare to lift yet another ODI trophy at home.
Dhawan stole the limelight with an attacking 119 that came off 95 balls, his fifth ODI hundred, while Yuvraj Singh notched up a 74 ball 55 to seal the issue for the home side at the Green Park Stadium which was hosting an international game after a gap of nearly four years.
It was a welcome return to form for Yuvraj, who cautiously put together 129 runs for the third wicket with Dhawan to set the platform for the easy win.
Earlier, the trio of Kieran Powell, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo struck half-centuries to propel West Indies to a challenging total.
Powell (70) carried on his good form from the last match and registered his second fifty of the series. Together with Samuels (71), he shared a 117 run second-wicket partnership to lay the foundation for West Indies after the visitors were put into bat by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Towards the end, Darren Bravo (51 not out) and Darren Sammy (37 not out) played aggressively to take West Indies past the 260-run mark.
Comfortably placed at 137 for one at one stage, West Indies looked set for a big score but India staged a comeback with quick wickets to restrict West Indies to the manageable score.
For the hosts, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers with figures of two for 45 from his quota of 10 overs.
India’s chase did not start on a very good note even though Dhawan made his intentions clear in just the second over of the innings when he clobbered Jason Holder thrice to the fence.
The hosts lost Rohit Sharma in the fifth over with just 20 runs on the board. Rohit gave a straight-forward catch to Dwayne Bravo at the first slip while trying to push at an away going delivery from Ravi Rampaul.
Virat Kohli looked in great touch during his brief 19 run stay but he too was undone by Rampaul’s probing length outside the off stump.
But from there on it was a Dhawan-Yuvraj show as the duo went about its business in style and shared the run-a-ball century partnership.
Dhawan was the aggressive one among the two. The hallmark of Dhawan’s innings was his elegant drives through the extra cover region and short-arm pulls.
Dhawan sent the West Indies bowlers’ on a leather hunt and found the fence at will. He completely dominated the Caribbean attack and hit as many as 20 boundaries during his fiery knock.