Photo: Marlon Samuels on the go. (AFP)
An under-strengthed West Indies team led by a century by Marlon Samuels dominated India in their first of five (5) one day international played at the Kochi stadium on Wednesday in a dominating batting display to go one up in the series.
The Caribbean side began the match with-out hard hitting batsman Chris Gayle, the banned mystery spinner Sunil Narine and openers Lendl Simmons and Leon Johnson. Despite the four absences the West Windies still had a very good team on paper. With the late absence of Lendl Simmons though to injure, Captain Dwayne Bravo was forced to open the batting with Dwayne Smith.
Both Dwayne Smith and Dwayne Bravo looked comfortable until Bravo was bowled by Mohammed Shami for 17 at 34-1. The Caribbean men were still going well when Darren Bravo replaced his older brother. At the end of ten overs West Indies was 52-1. Smith became Jadeja first and only wicket when he swung across to line to a delivery he should have been hitting straight to leave the score at 98-2, Smith going for 46 runs.
The Jamaican Marlon Samuels joined Darren bravo and with the score on 120-2 it became 120-3 when Bravo hit Amit Mishra straight to Shikar Dhawan at Long On. It was the Ramdin and Samuels show to come, Samuels reaching his half-century with some fantastic stroke on his favoured off side with a couple of six straight over the bowler's head.
The hundred partnership came up soon after with some responsible batting from both Ramdin and Samuels, Ramdin reach his half-century soon after an add 11 more runs to his total before he was removed by the combination of Mohammed Shami who bowled a low full toss and was caught at long-on by Jadeja. With the score on 285-4 the damage was already done with some very explosive batting at the death and the cool and collective Samuels still at the crease.
Pollard came to join Samuels but became Shami's third victim adding two runs to the total. The in form Andre Russell then came and became Shami fourth and final wicket adding 1 run the score. Darren Sammy became Samuels’s next partner making 10 runs including a six taking the West Indies Total to 321-6, Samuels making 126 not out equally his 126 against Bangladesh.
The Caribbean men though, would have known it’s not all but done with such a talented and experience India team who has just beaten England in England 4-1.
Replying to a massive but gettable total based on the Indians batting line up. Shikar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane started well for the Indians taking the score to 49-1 before Rahane and Dhawan were caught standing at the strikers end, Rahane being the victim, went back to the pavilion making 24 runs. It was a soft dismal but credit must be given to Dwayne Smith who released the ball quickly to Denesh Ramdin who then throw the ball to Ravi Rampaul at the bowlers end to knock the bails off.
Virat Kohli came and had to go soon after when Jerome Taylor bowled a beauty to Kohli who edged the ball to Darren Sammy at second slip. Rayudu then came to join Dhawan and looked good, playing some elegant strokes until Rayudu miscued a shot to Suliman Benn at mid-on off Andre Russell with the score at 82-3.
It became 83-3 when Dwayne Bravo brilliantly bowled Suresh Raina for a duck. Shikar Dhawan found runs easy to come by and brought up his half-century with his Captain M S Dhoni. Soon after Darren Sammy bowled a yorker to dismiss M S Dhoni for 8, leaving his team on the back foot at 114-5.
Man of the match Marlon Samuels then got the ball and get the wicket of Dhawan in his first over, with West Indies well on course of a victory.
With India on 134-6 the Caribbean men would have a sniff at victory but still had to work hard but Jadeja who has the ability to bat made the Windies bowlers work very hard although Bhuvneshwar Kumar went soon after to Samuels again with Darren Sammy taking the catch at first slip leaving India on 138-7.
Amit Mishra then came and made 5 runs before Dwayne Bravo had him out by the LBW route. Ravi Rampaul then then the two final wickets Mohit sharma making 8 runs and Mohammed Shami with an entertaining 19 runs.
The West Indies won by 124 runs. Game two is set for Saturday.