MANCHESTER – Skipper Virat Kohli scored his fourth successive half-century at the World Cup to lay the foundations for India’s 268/7 against West Indies in Manchester on Thursday.
Kohli made 72 as he became the fastest batsman to reach 20 000 international runs in his 417th innings – India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Caribbean batsman Brian Lara both required 453 international innings to reach the landmark.
Wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya boosted the total, putting on 70 runs for the sixth wicket to punish the otherwise disciplined bowlers in the last 10 overs.
Pandya hit 46 off 38 balls, while Dhoni remained unbeaten on 56, ending the innings with a big six.
The West Indies bowlers, led by paceman Kemar Roach, had kept India in check until the latter stages, stemming the flow of runs with regular wickets after being asked to field.
Roach returned impressive figures of 3/36 in his 10 overs, including the wicket of Indian opener Rohit Sharma for 18.
West Indies captain Jason Holder and fellow quick Sheldon Cottrell took two wickets each.
Kohli, whose 82-ball knock included eight boundaries, extended his fine run of form with some eye-catching shots that charmed a partisan crowd at Old Trafford.
He played a delightful wristy flick for a boundary off Holder, only to give a simple catch to midwicket off the next ball.
Kohli, who registered his 53rd ODI 50 in his 232nd ODI match, built crucial partnerships including a 69-run second wicket stand with KL Rahul, who made 48.
Earlier, Roach struck in the sixth over to have Sharma controversially caught behind off a delivery that pitched on a good length and jagged back sharply into the right-handed batsman.
The on-field umpire gave Sharma not out but the West Indies successfully reviewed the decision, with technology appearing to indicate a spike in sound as the ball squeezed through the gap between bat and pad.
Sharma was surprised and disappointed as he walked back to the dressing room.
Fifties for Kohli and Dhoni, and a quick 38-ball 46 from Pandya take India to 268/7, while Roach and Holder star with the ball.— ICC (@ICC) June 27, 2019
Can West Indies chase this down?
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Roach came roaring in during his second spell to have Vijay Shankar caught behind for 14, and then sent back Kedar Jadhav with a delivery that pitched and straightened.
Jadhav was given not out, but the West Indies successfully reviewed.
But Dhoni, who survived a missed stumping chance on seven off Fabian Allen, and Pandya combined to give India impetus in the closing stages.
Defeat for West Indies, who have only won one of their six matches, would snuff out their already remote chances of reaching the semi-finals.AFP