Thursday, 9 October 2014

Samuels ton sets up 124-run win in 1st ODI

KOCHI: West Indies turned adversity into advantage by registering a 124-run win over India in the first ODI of the five-match series at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.

Batting first, West Indies posted a mammoth 321 for six, the highest at this ground, powered by an unbeaten ton from Marlon Samuels. Then their bowlers got their act together as they dished out a disciplined performance to bowl India out for 197 in 41 overs, to give themselves a 1-0 lead in the series which looked highly unlikely given the circumstances in which the match started.

After landing in India last week, the West Indies were besieged by problems. First, they were given a pasting by India 'A' and then the spat with their players union and cricket board threatened to disrupt the very start of this match.

But once they set foot on the ground for the first time after landing in Kochi just an hour before the scheduled start of the match, they didn't put a foot wrong. They came out all guns blazing and proved that they are not here on a tourist visa.

The wayward Indian bowlers seemed to be in no mood to lessen the worries of skipper MS Dhoni heading into the World Cup as they failed to back their skipper's decision to bowl first. With regular opener Lendl Simmons out injured, skipper Dwayne Bravo was forced to open the innings with Dwayne Smith. It seemed the drum beats in the stands had given the Windies a feeling of being back home in the Caribbean as both Bravo and Smith played shots right from the word go.

Though they lost Bravo (17) cheaply, Smith, joined by Darren Brovo, continued to play with gay abandon. The introduction of spinners too didn't make any impression as both Mishra and Jadeja found it difficult to keep them under check. Smith, who looked set for a fifty, was finally castled by Jadeja for 46 just after he hit the bowler for a six off the previous delivery. Bravo was dismissed by Mishra for 28 and at 120 for three India sniffed a chance for a comeback. But the experienced Marlon Samuels was determined to get his start into something substantial. He got an able ally in Denesh Ramdin and the two put on a clinical 165-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Their partnership was a delight to watch as they rotated the strike with ease and punished anything loose with disdain.

The partnership was finally broken by Mohammad Shami when he had Ramdin caught by Jadeja for 61. But Samuels offered Indians no let up. The West Indies proved a point. Now, it is for India to come up with the answers in three days' time in Delhi. Dhoni,Marlon Samuels,Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium,India vs West Indies,Dwayne Bravo

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