Bonus point ensured, eyes on WI-Lanka game
For the first time in the tournament did things go right for India. And stand-in skipper Virat Kohli did himself a huge favour by going back to batting at No 3 and getting Bhuvaneshwar Kumar to open the bowling. Somshuvra Laha reports.Updated: Jul 07, 2013 00:40 IST
The broadcasters' camera couldn't do without finding MS Dhoni in the dressing room or walking by the boundary rope but India showed they can operate perfectly well without him by inflicting a huge defeat on the West Indies and keep themselves in with a chance for the final with a bonus point win.
They still have to win the next game against Sri Lanka on Tuesday and hope West Indies beat Sri Lanka on Sunday just to keep calculations simple.
For the first time in the tournament did things go right for India. And stand-in skipper Virat Kohli did himself a huge favour by going back to the tried and tested formula of batting at No 3 and getting Bhuvaneshwar Kumar to open the bowling.
Even a long spell of rain couldn't throw the team off track as India showed signs of massive improvement in the areas they were lacking in the thrashing against Sri Lanka in the previous match.
Kohli made his 14th century, India got Chris Gayle cheaply yet again and the pacers complimented each other after the rain to make it a no-contest. A flurry of wickets saw West Indies reeling at 69/5 chasing a modified target of 274 from 39 overs.
Had it not been for the late assault by Sunil Narine and Kemar Roach and some fielding bloopers, the win would have been much more emphatic for India.
Suresh Raina put down a few catches, including a glaring one of Narine's in the 32nd over.
Kumar and Raina kept calling for the catch at long-on but both pulled out at the last moment, much to the chagrin of bowler Ravindra Jadeja.
Narine added insult to injury when he lofted Jadeja for a six off the next ball. He finally fell to Jadeja in his next over but Jadeja still seemed furious with Raina over the dropped catches during a drinks break.
The blows however were dealt early into the game. Gayle, still West Indies' biggest hope of getting an explosive start, again fell cheaply.
Kumar, back after missing out against Sri Lanka, nipped away the ball just enough to induce an edge off Gayle's bat to Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps.
Rain intervened just after Darren Bravo's dismissal, trying to hit without moving his legs.
The target was revised to a difficult 274 from 39 overs and West Indies had no choice but play out of their skin.
But a collapse of sorts shut them out. Marlon Samuels looked in discomfort but not more than Dwayne Bravo when he was hit in the nether region by Ishant Sharma in the 14th over.
They folded meekly and barring a fighting 45 from Johnson Charles and the Narine-Roach entertainment, WI showed little character.
West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has been suspended for one match after his side was fined for a second minor over-rate offence within 12 months.
The West Indies side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the end of Friday’s match.