Kingston - Virat Kohli stroked a commanding, unbeaten 111 to
lead India to a series-clinching eight-wicket win over the West Indies in the
fifth and final one-day international at Sabina Park on Thursday.
Responding to the home side's modest total of 205 for nine
after captain Jason Holder chose to bat first in Jamaica, the visitors' skipper
ensured there was to be no upset with the target reached in the 37th over to
give India a 3-1 series triumph.
Stung by an 11-run defeat in the fourth match in Antigua,
when they failed to reach an even smaller target of 190, the Indians were in no
mood to let their opponents off the hook this time around.
An early strike by fast bowler Alzarri Joseph in removing
Shikhar Dhawan at the start of the chase ushered in Kohli who immediately set
about the bowling.
He put on 79 for the second wicket with Ajinkya Rahane
before the opener fell leg-before to spinner Devendra Bishoo. It was his first
score under 50 in the series.
Dinesh Karthik joined his leader in the 19th over and was
prepared to play the supporting role to a rampant Kohli, his 28th ODI century
coming up off 108 deliveries with one six and 12 fours decorating his
Karthik reached an unbeaten 50 in an unbroken third-wicket
partnership of 122 just before Kohli finished the match with his second six off
"Today was another clinical performance for us. Winning
in a chase is always a nice feeling," said Kohli after receiving the 'Man
of the Match' award.
"It's always about getting the team over the line. It's
not about personal stats and personal achievements but ensuring we get to the
target that's on the scoreboard."
Earlier, opening bowlers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav
shared seven wickets in restricting the West Indies after they were well poised
at 76 for one in the 16th over.
Seeking victory to earn a share of the honours from a
campaign in which they entered as huge underdogs, the home side's only
substantial contributions came from the Hope brothers, Shai and Kyle.
Shai topscored with 51, his second half-century of the
series, while Kyle contributed 46 at the top of the order.
All-rounders Holder and Rovman Powell got to 36 and 31
respectively but failed to capitalise on decent starts as India tightened the
screws on their opponents with disciplined bowling from the two frontline
seamers towards the end of the innings.
Shami finished with four for 48 while Yadav completed his
ten-over spell with three wickets at a cost of 53 runs.
Despite their combined successes, it was Hardik Pandya who
made the first breakthrough. Brought on to facilitate a switching of ends by
Shami and Yadav, he induced a loose drive from Evin Lewis to have him caught at
Shai joined Kyle Hope and the pair attempted to accelerate
on a pitch that appeared much better for batting than for the last two games at
the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Kyle took a particular liking to Yadav, smashing him for
But the bowler had the last laugh as the batsman found
Shikhar Dhawan at midwicket attempting another boundary in the same over.
Chase's miserable series with the bat continued when he was
trapped leg-before to the very next delivery from Yadav and it was left to
Holder to give the innings some momentum.
"I keep stressing to the guys that they've got to learn
as quickly as possible because I'm tired of going over the same things every
time and the guys need to take ownership of their own actions," said a frustrated
"We really need to make good use of the limited time we
have between series and come back better."
He dominated a 48-run fifth-wicket partnership with Shai
Hope, only to depart to Shami at the start of his second spell.
India conclude this brief visit to the Caribbean on Sunday
when they take on the West Indies in a solitary T20 international at the same