India seals series with clinical demolition

After a clinical rout at the Brian Lara Cricket Ground in Trinidad, India won the one-day international series against the West Indies 2-1. After winning the toss and asking India to bat, the visitors produced a mammoth total of 351 and only handed away 151 runs, claiming a 200-run victory in the 36th over of the attempted run-chase.

With the series on the line, India went into the game without veterans Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and the hosts ordered them to bat. The visitors scored 351/5 in 50 overs, thanks to a magnificent display by the top and middle order on a true pitch in Trinidad.

Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill got off to shaky starts, with the former dropping a catch and the latter missing Mayers with another. Shubman Gill made a couple of errant shots of his own and, throughout the innings, avoided being run out on several occasions due to shoddy communication. The two broke free, though, and scored quickly, reaching their fifties at a faster rate than a run-a-ball. When the final score was 143, Cariah was the one who tricked Kishan with the flight and left him perplexed. Soon after, Gaikwad arrived, edging Joseph’s straightener towards the cordon.

Shubman Gill stepped aside as Samson launched an all-out assault. The teenage batter immediately went into attack mode and reached his fifty runs off 39 pitches before falling shortly after chipping a Shepherd delivery to mid-off. Hardik Pandya took charge of the slog overs and made sure 42 runs came off 19 balls, assisting India in surpassing the 350-run threshold. Suryakumar Yadav and Pandya rebuilt with a 49-ball stand for 65 runs.

West Indies’ pursuit got off to a bad start. Brandon King was quickly eliminated by Mukesh Kumar after being caught behind for a duck and having Kyle Mayers’ stumps knocked over shortly after. The teenage fast bowler also snagged the dependable Shai Hope, dropping West Indies to 17-3—a disastrous start considering they were chasing 352 in a series-deciding match.

In order to throw the West Indies into a free fall at 50-6, Jaydev Unadkat removed Carty, one of the match’s heroes, before Shardul Thakur picked up the crucial wickets of Shimron Hetmyer and Romario Shepherd. Kuldeep Yadav knocked over Yannic Cariah and Alick Athanaze just as they were starting to exert some resistance, and shortly after, he had Cariah strapped in front to reduce the score to 88-8. Alzarri Joseph and Gudakesh Motie displayed the kind of resistance required further up the order, playing good cricketing shots, and putting on 55 for the ninth wicket in just under 10 overs, just as the hosts were looking at an embarrassing sub-100 total in response to 351.

There was some controversy because West Indies disputed the umpire’s decision to declare Jayden Seales caught after Kuldeep Yadav challenged it. The catch was given not out since there was no bat. The ball appeared to be striking the stumps when the umpire called while checking for the LBW, though. The umpire’s call for LBW was technically “not out” because the on-field umpire hadn’t given the ball away, so Seales was given not out.

Shardul Thakur sent Seales’ stumps cartwheeling, taking his fourth wicket and giving India a 200-run victory, so it wasn’t a high-stakes controversy for them. For his 85, Shubman Gill was named the game’s man of the match.

With this victory, India obtained a 2-1 series win as they advance to a five-match T20 series that will take place from August 3 to August 13, 2023.

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