The opposition was different but the script remained similar for India as they cantered to their second victory in the 2014 ICC World T20. After the spinners restricted West Indies to 130 runs, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli took India to a seven-wicket win at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur. Unbeaten on 62, Rohit anchored the innings to attain the target with two balls to spare.
Once again, MS Dhoni opted to field first, and his spin attack once again responded by keeping the defending champions to a modest total, after Bhuvneshwar Kumar posed questions early on. The wiry pacer bowled a superb initial spell of 3-0-3-0.
After surviving a chance while on the zero, Chris Gayle unleashed himself on Shami. He pulled the pacer over mid-wicket for six and then sent him racing for four in the same area. While Dwayne Smith struggled, the big-hitting opener kept the scoreboard moving. He also struck Amit Mishra for a six and was dropped by Yuvraj Singh while going for another big hit. Although India had kept the flow of runs in check, they were still to get a breakthrough, which was provided by Ravichandran Ashwin in the eighth over. The offie, diving to his right, caught Smith off his own bowling while WI were on 38. Gayle, who had already got two lives, was run out for 34
Negotiating the Indian spinners was something that WI struggled with. And although Marlon Samuels struck Ravindra Jadeja for a couple of boundaries, he was unable to read Mishra. The leg-spinner drew Samuels out and had him stumped. Dwayne Bravo was done in by a googly from Mishra off the next ball. But hat-trick ball was driven for a single by Darren Sammy. With the WI innings in disarray, their batsmen had to go for big hits to accelerate. While striving to do so, Lendl Simmons survived a chance as Rohit Sharma was unable to hold on to a tough catch. He then struck Shami for two boundaries in an over that extended to eight balls.
However, their luck didn’t last long as Sammy was caught by Rohit off Jadeja. Two balls later, Simmons too would have been back in the dressing room, courtesy a brilliant take by Suresh Raina near the fence. But Jadeja had overstepped and the batsman received a life. And the no-ball was smashed by Andre Russell over long-on to add six and take 10 runs off the over.
However, Man of the Match, Mishra continued his good work, he conceded only two off the penultimate over and finished with 4-0-18-2. However, in the last over of the innings, Jadeja was smashed for three sixes. But he also claimed two wickets in it while conceding 21 runs. As a result, WI ended up with 129 on the board.
Chasing the modest target, Shikhar Dhawan was trapped leg-before by Samuel Badree for naught with only one on the board. But Virat Kohli then joined forces with Rohit Sharma to tip the balance in India’s favour. Rohit launched Badree over extra cover to add four more and then timed him through point for yet another boundary.
Runs flowed for India as both batsmen milked the bowlers and kept the scorers busy with their running between the wickets. Rohit lofted a free hit off Narine for a six over long-off. Bravo, who was then introduced into the attack, was welcomed by Kohli with a flick to the fence.
There was little the West Indies could do as the Rohit-Kohli pair blunted the attack as they eased into their forties. They were neck and neck in their pursuit of runs. While Rohit swatted Samuels for six to reach 47, Kohli entertained with a superb square drive off Santokie in the next over to get to 48. The No.3 batsman then reached his half-century with a single.
In the next over, Rohit brought up his half-century with a single. With India 23 runs short of the target, Kohli’s stumps were dismantled by Russell for 54. The top-order was replaced by Yuvraj Singh, who powered the bowler through midwicket for four to open his account. But the left-handed veteran was out with India one run short of the target. Raina then pierced the field to take the team across the line.
Man of the Match: Amit Mishra for his spell of 4-0-18-2