Match report: India v WI - 4th ODI
Indore, Dec 8: Virender Sehwag posted the highest-ever individual score by any batsman in ODIs as India took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series against the West Indies. Sehwag, who clobbered 219 runs on the day, also went past the 8000-run mark as the hosts beat the visitors by 153 runs at the Holkar cricket stadium here in Indore.
It was Sehwag’s day from the very beginning as he won the toss and elected to bat first. Besides giving Rahul Sharma the opportunity to make his ODI debut in place of Umesh Yadav, the Indians also made another change by getting Gautam Gambhir instead of Parthiv Patel to open the batting alongside Sehwag.
That move proved correct as both batsmen shrugged off their recent poor run of form and went about bludgeoning the West Indies attack into submission. The Indian 100 was raised in just 14.3 overs while the 150-run mark was brought up in 20.1 overs. Gambhir, who was dropped by Andre Russell off his own bowling when he was still on 20, made his first half-century of the series in an opening stand of 176.
With Sehwag, meanwhile, having smashed his way to a century in just 69 deliveries, it required a run out to break the partnership between the two batsmen. Marlon Samuels, fielding at straight extra cover, produced a direct hit that caught Gambhir (67) short of his crease and gave the visitors their first breakthrough of the match.
Suresh Raina then hit a sparkling half-century (55 off 44 balls) in a 140-run stand with Sehwag for the second wicket. Raina also suffered the same fate as Gambhir, the left-hander run-out by an Andre Russell throw from the deep. India were 316 for two in 40.2 overs at the loss of Raina’s wicket.
Sehwag, on the other hand, continued unfettered. Dropped on 170 by West Indies skipper Darren Sammy off Ravi Rampaul’s bowling, the Indian opener moved from 197 to 201 with a boundary off Andre Russell in the 44th over. His innings, which lasted 149 deliveries and included 25 fours and seven sixes, finally ended when he tried to hit Kieron Pollard out of the park but only managed to give substitute Anthony Mart an easy catch at long-off.
Rohit Sharma (27 off 16) and Virat Kohli (23* off 11) then added to the visitors’ misery by hammering 42 runs off the last 21 deliveries to take India’s score to a mammoth 418 for the loss of five wickets in 50 overs.
But for a few flourishes, the West Indies batsmen crumbled in the face of the stiff target. Denesh Ramdin struck a battling 96 off as many deliveries but with Rahul Sharma ripping through the visitors’ middle-order (three for 43) and Ravindra Jadeja taking three for 34, India cruised to a comfortable win. No. 11 batsman Sunil Narine, who was involved in a 64-run partnership with Ramdin for the last wicket, remained unbeaten on 27 as India bowled the visitors out for 265 in 49.2 overs to win the game and series.
Brief scores: India 418/5 in 50.0 overs (Virender Sehwag 219, Gautam Gambhir 67, Suresh Raina 55, Andre Russell 1/63) beat West Indies 265 all out in 49.2 overs (Denesh Ramdin 96, Ravindra Jadeja 3/34, Rahul Sharma 3/43) by 153 runs
Man-of-the-match: Virender Sehwag for his blazing knock of 219 (off 149 balls, 25x4, 7x6), the highest score ever by any player in ODIs