West Indies outplay India
- Hetmyer, Hope thrash Indian bowlers with tons
- Rishabh strikes form at Dhoni’s spiritual home
Chennai : Shimron Hetmyer smashed an entertaining century, while Shai Hope played the supporting role to perfection with a carefully-constructed hundred to power West Indies to an emphatic eight-wicket victory against India in the first ODI in Chennai, on Sunday.
Chasing 288 for victory, Hetmyer took the game away from India as he blasted 139 from 106 balls, hitting seven sixes and 11 fours.
His 218-run partnership with Hope, who played second fiddle with a steady knock of 102 from 151 balls, not only revived West Indies after an early wicket but also put them in command in the middle overs.
Nicholas Pooran provided the finishing touches with his quickfire 29 from 23 balls as West Indies cruised to 291 for two in 47.5 overs, to win with 13 balls to spare and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Interestingly, it was a rare match in Chennai when the spinners from both teams failed to pick a single wicket.
Earlier, Rishabh Pant struck his maiden half-century at M S Dhoni's spiritual home to silence his critics.
Shreyas Iyer (70 off 88), who is emerging as a solid number four, and Pant (71 off 69) paired up for a 114-run stand for the fourth wicket after India lost opener K L Rahul (6) and skipper Virat Kohli (4) in the seventh over of the innings.
It was Iyer's third consecutive half-century. Rohit Sharma (36 off 56) too struggled on a slow surface before Iyer and Pant resurrected the innings with their gritty partnership.
A quickfire half-century partnership between Kedar Jadhav (40 off 35) and Ravindra Jadeja (21 off 21), who batted ahead of debutant Shivam Dube, provided the thrust in the slog overs.
Left-arm paceman Sheldon Cottrell (2/46 from 10 overs including 3 maidens), Keemo Paul (2/41) and Alzarri Joseph (2/45) were among the wickets for the visiting team.
The home team appeared to be in a spot of bother at 80 for three in the 19th over on a sluggish pitch when Iyer and Pant came together.
After taking their time to get going, the two played some splendid shots and were not afraid to hit the ball in the air when the opportunity presented itself.
The fact that the first six of the innings came in the 28th over when Pant smashed offie Roston Chase over mid-wicket was an indicator of the slow proceedings.
Iyer displayed his class as he came up with some lovely cuts against the spinners-Chase and leggie Hayden Walsh. Pant, on his part, showed patience and hit some powerful shots after gaining in confidence and assessing the nature of the pitch.
The two handled the spinners well and hit a six each apart from some well-timed drives.
Walsh, who had bowled impressively in the T20s preceding this series, was not allowed to settle into any rhythm as Rohit first, and then the Iyer-Pant duo went after him. He was taken for 31 runs in 5 overs.
Iyer perished for a well-made 70 with his dismissal coming against the run of play, when his flick landed in the safe hands of Pollard off Joseph's bowling, ending a brilliant 114-run fourth wicket partnership with Pant.