Thursday, February 29, 2024

Rohit guides team to victory

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India go 1-0 up

Port of Spain: Indian batsman Rohit Sharma hit an unbeaten half-century to steer his team to a comfortable four-wicket win over West Indies in the opening ODI of the five-match series at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.

Chasing a target of 215 runs, Sharma struck 68 not out in 75 balls and shared an 80 run fifth-wicket partnership with captain Suresh Raina (43 off 50 deliveries) to guide India home to 217-6 with 31 balls to spare.

Sharma had come to the crease after India lost three quick wickets to be in an uncomfortable situation at 61-3, the BBC reports.

Wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel was run out for 13, Virat Kohli (two) gave an easy catch to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh, while Subramaniam Badrinath (17) bottom-edged a cut shot off Devendra Bishoo to Baugh.

India had later slumped to 104-4 four following the loss of opener Shikhar Dhawan for 51 off 76 balls.

Leg-spinner Anthony Martin was the best of the West Indian bowlers with 2-39.

Earlier, West Indies had totalled 214-9 in their 50 overs with Ramnaresh Sarwan (56) and Marlon Samuels (55) combining for more than half the team’s score.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was the most successful bowler for Team India. He finished with match figures of 3-32 from 10 overs. (ANI)

Indians to strengthen hold, WI seek revival

2nd ODI today

PORT OF SPAIN: It was not the most comprehensive of wins but having taken a morale-boosting 1-0 lead in the series, India would look to press home the advantage against a nervy West Indies in the second one-dayer, on Wednesday.

The four-wicket win in the first one-dayer came after a wobbly start and the second-string Indian team would be aiming to plug the loopholes as the series progresses.

Missing key players Sachin Tendulkar and regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the young team led by Suresh Raina benefited from the West Indians’ follies in the lung-opener.

The hosts might have lost the first game by four wickets but they were probably 30 runs and a wicket away from walking away as winners.

Even though the pitch was sluggish, West Indies could have tested India with a score of 250-plus. That score was a possibility till key men Ramnaresh Sarwan (56) and Marlon Samuels (55), after an 82-run fourth wicket stand, departed in the final overs.

Encouragingly for the hosts though, experienced batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan showed signs of returning to his best and there was much heart to be drawn in the performance of young spinners Devendra Bishoo and Anthony Martin.

West Indies could do with a little more firepower at their command in the second match and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Kieron Pollard figures in the starting XI.

But given that the West Indians are desperately missing a certain Chris Gayle, the odds still favour Suresh Raina and his men. (Agencies)

 

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