North Sound - West Indies captain Jason Holder led from the
front with a five-wicket haul as his side snatched an 11-run win over India in
the fourth one-day international in Antigua on Sunday.
India came into the match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium
leading 2-0 in the series and set a modest target of 190 to maintain their
unbeaten run in this short campaign.
But the visitors were undone by a combination of disciplined
West Indies bowling and their own inexplicable lethargy at the crease.
That pedestrian progress was typified by Mahendra Singh
Dhoni's painstaking innings of 54 off 114 deliveries - the slowest of his 64
ODI half-centuries - before he fell off the last ball of the 49th over bowled
by Kesrick Williams.
That left India needing 15 runs off the final over with only
two wickets in hand.
It was Williams' only success of a miserly 10-over spell but
proved critical as Holder sealed the win which keeps the series alive heading
into the fifth and final match in Kingston on Thursday.
He dismissed Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami in the space
of four balls to finish with five for 27, his best-ever ODI figures as India
folded for 178.
"At the halfway stage there were a few heads dropping
in the dressing room but it took a big effort and I'm really pleased to play a
part in keeping us in the series," said Holder after receiving the man of
the match award.
"We targeted getting wickets at the front to challenge
their other batters who haven't had much work to do of late. It worked this
Ajinkya Rahane's excellent form at the top of the order
continued with a top score of 60, but the rest of the Indian batting struggled
to establish any sort of momentum as the West Indies showed discipline and
purpose with the ball.
Young fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, brought into the team in
place of medium-pacer Miguel Cummins, set the tone for the fight back with the
wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik.
Meanwhile, Holder removed his Indian counterpart, Virat
Kohli, for the second time in as many matches via a top-edged hook.
"Our shot selection wasn't up to mark but credit to the
West Indies bowlers for the pressure they put on us to force those
mistakes," said Kohli in assessing his team's surprise defeat.
"I am sure the guys are going to come back extra hard
for the final match. We just needed a complete performance and today wasn't
Ealier, pacers Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya claimed three
wickets each while wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav again teased and tormented the
West Indies batsmen in adding two more victims to his series haul as the hosts
limped to 189 for nine batting first.
While each of the top five managed to get a start, none
could get past 35 as India exerted almost complete control over a line-up that
lacked the inspirational spark to put the opposition under pressure.
Openers Evin Lewis and Kyle Hope were the joint top scorers
with 35 apiece although their slow progress - the opening stand of 57 was
broken in the 18th over - meant those who followed were required to pick up the
None managed to do so for any sustained period with Pandya
and Kuldeep doing the bulk of the damage to the West Indies batting line-up early
Umesh then ensured there was to be no threat from the
reputed lower-order big-hitters as he accounted for Holder, Rovman Powell and
Ashley Nurse in his second spell.
India had rung the changes for this match with Karthik
replacing Yuvraj Singh in the middle-order, Ravindra Jadeja coming in as a
specialist spinner for Ravichandran Ashwin and Shami making his first ODI
appearance since the 2015 World Cup as Bhuvneshwar Kumar was rested.