India vs West Indies: Jason Holder’s 5/27 helps hosts stay alive in series
Inspired by Jason Holder’s maiden five-wicket haul in One-Day Internationals, the West Indies defeated India by 11 runs in the fourth game in Antigua to stay alive in the five-match series.india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jul 03, 2017 03:19 IST
Good performance begets fan following and the way West Indies carved their way back into the fourth ODI made it clearly evident. (Highlights)
India had restricted hosts to 189/9 in 50 overs and it all looked over for the home side despite them getting early breakthroughs. But as MS Dhoni struggled to time the ball and a 54-run partnership between Rahane and him ended, bringing with it a flurry of wickets, the crowd had swelled to almost 800-1000. (Scorecard)
From a corner, a man in pink T-shirt kept egging the boys on, asking a fielder at long on to ‘move in, get in’ as Kuldeep Yadav struggled to connect the ball. West Indian fans, slighted by lowly Afghanistan recently, were finally beginning to smell blood after Ravindra Jadeja had holed out to long-on.
They were now beginning to believe they could win.
The last nail in the coffin came when Dhoni, with his hard-earned half-century, which took him 108 balls, tried to smash the ball over long-on but was caught off an impressive Kesrick Williams who had been bowling off-cutters.
India needed 14 off six balls and it was too much for the tail which had just Kuldeep, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.
The crowd went berserk, most breaking into impromptu jig, and the brass band that looked like playing a tune most commonly seen in religious processions in India, upped the beats.
Soon victory was theirs as Shami hit one straight to long-off. West Indies had won by 11 runs, a close nail-biting match where they did well to hold their nerves. But to be honest both teams played badly and it was a case of who was worse on the day.
The much-reviled skipper Jason Holder was the hero, picking a five-wicket haul.
India had begun poorly, losing Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli early. Soon Dinesh Karthik, who had replaced Yuvraj Singh, fell but Rahane and Dhoni set about building the innings.
Dhoni was slow but was doing the job. However, after Rahane’s dismissal, India lost track and none of the big-hitters like Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya came good as West Indies stuck to a line.
While captain Holder took 5/27, scalping Kohli and the tail, Williams was impressive with his off-cutters as Indians struggled to time the ball.
Earlier, the top-five West Indies batsmen got starts but couldn’t go on. It seemed they weren’t mentally there in the 50-over format and didn’t have a clue of how to build innings.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, hoping to put pressure on India, after bowling first in the last two games saw them lose badly.
The start was very careful as they put on 57 runs in 17 overs, which was well below the acceptable standards but the fact they had wickets in hand, they fancied giving themselves a chance of putting a decent total.
However, the Indians struck with Hardik Pandya as Kyle Hope tried to hit out but only managed to hole out.
Soon, Kuldeep Yadav effected twin blows. As Darren Ganga, the former West Indies batsman said, “They are struggling to read the line. They are playing inside the line when they need to cover it up. The fact that there aren’t many chinaman bowlers in the Caribbean playing domestic cricket add to the mystery.”
Pandya and Umesh Yadav then ran through the middle-order to reduce them to leave them tottering at 179/8.
Interestingly, Ravindra Jadeja who came in for R Ashwin wasn’t effective at all, failing to pick wickets. While Kuldeep has been among the wickets, both Jadeja and Ashwin have been largely ineffective, the latter trying a slightly newer action to bring some luck.
Ashwin managed to pick three wickets in the last game and it was a surprise that he was left out despite returning to good form.