Kochi ODI: Samuels helps crisis-hit Windies thrash India by 124 runs

Marlon Samuels starred with both bat and ball, hitting an unbeaten 126 and taking two wickets as West Indies registered a massive 124-run win against world champions India to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series

Kochi: West Indies put behind an acrimonious pay dispute with their board to spank number one ranked India by a huge margin of 124 runs in the first one-dayer to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series here today.

The Caribbeans, who were on the verge of boycotting the ODI, rode on Marlon Samuels' career-best equalling 126 not out to post 321 for six and then shot out the Indians for 197 in 41 overs in a rather one-sided contest at the Nehru Stadium. 

Marlon SamuelsMarlon Samuels reacts with joy after reaching the three-figure mark against India at Kochi during the 1st ODI on Wednesday. 

India paid the price for some mediocre bowling and shoddy batting as they were outplayed by the crisis-hit visiting team in all departments of the game to suffer a heavy defeat.

Indian bowlers gave away too many runs at the second part of West Indies innings to allow the visitors pile up a big
total after being put into bat and then the much-vaunted home batsmen, except for Shikhar Dhawan (68), failed to fire on a batting pitch.

Most of Indian batsmen were out on poor shot selection and they could not stitch any substantial partnership in the
face of some tight bowling by the visiting bowlers, the highest being the 49 in 8.4 overs for the opening wicket
between Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane (24).

Dhawan's scratchy 68 came from 92 balls with the help of nine fours. Ravindra Jadeja (33 not out) was the other Indian batsman who scored more than 20 runs.

West Indies, even without their mystery spinner Sunil Narine, could tie down the top Indian batsmen who failed to
get the runs when required. 

Chasing a huge target of 322 for a win, India could not get to a good start as Rahane was run out in a bizarre
mixed-up in the ninth over with just 49 on board. 

Rahane tapped the length ball off Ravi Rampaul on the pads between short fine leg and square leg and after taking
the first run quickly, he wanted a second and continued to run hard. But, Dhawan went back after taking a step and both found themselves at the keeper's end and Rahane had to depart for the dressing room.

Virat Kohli (2) continued his struggle for form and even on a batting pitch, he could not do much and got dismissed the next over after facing just five balls. Kohli defended a Jerome Taylor delivery which held its line on the backfoot with an angled bat and the outside edge flew to Sammy at wide slip for a low catch.

Ambati Rayudu (13) looked like he would settle down for a partnership with Dhawan but lasted just six overs before he was out in the 16th over.

India were in a spot of bother when Rayudu was out at 82 for three but the home side's chances of a win was dealt a
blow after in-form Suresh Raina was dismissed for a duck three balls later off the bowling of Dwayne Bravo.

Raina, who hit a match-winning unbeaten century for Chennai Super Kings in Champions League Twenty20 final a few
days ago, got an inside edge which knocked off his bails.

India were still in a chance till captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was at the crease but it was not the day for the 'Master
Finisher' as he was bowled by Darren Sammy for an uncharacteristic eight runs from 21 balls.

Runs dried up in the middle overs with the West Indies bolwers spot on in their line and length and propped up by some good fielding. By the time Dhoni was out in the 26th over, the asking rate had gone up to over eight with half of the batting line up cooling their heels at the dressing room.

Dhawan kept one end intact before he was out in the 29th over but after departed it was as good as over for India.
Jadeja stretched the end of the match along with the lower order as the Indians batted for the sake of formalities only.

For West Indies, Dwayne Bravo, Ravi Rampaul and Marlon Samuels grabbed two wickets apiece while Jerome Taylor, Andre Russell and Darren Sammy took a wicket each. 

Earlier, Marlon Samuels struck a superb unbeaten century to fire the West Indies to an impressive 321 for six in 50 overs against India in the first ODI of their five-match series at the Nehru Stadium here Wednesday.

Samuels struck a crafty 126 not out off 116 deliveries, his sixth ODI hundred, as West Indies batsmen plundered the Indian bowling after being put in by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Samuels' 116-ball innings was studded with 11 fours and four sixes. Denesh Ramdin also made 61 while Dwayne Smith scored 46. Recalled for the series against India after being dropped for the recent tour to Bangladesh, Samuels scored freely and posted 165 for the fourth wicket with Ramdin, who struck five fours and two sixes in his 59 ball innings.

West Indies started the innings with skipper Dwayne Bravo (17) promoting himself up the order to open with Smith. But the move failed as the all-rounder was dismissed in the 8th over with 34 runs on board after scoring just 17 runs.

However, Smith and stylish left-hander Darren Bravo (28) added 64 for the second wicket to give the West Indies a stable start. Smith struck four fours and two sixes during his 45-ball stay but both the batsmen fell in quick succession to leave the West Indies at 120 for three in the 23rd over.

Samuels and Ramdin then took control of the innings to lead a Caribbean onslaught that left the Indian bowling unit look like a hapless lot.

For India, pacer Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers, bagging four for 66 from his nine overs while spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra picked up a wicket each. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the most economical, conceding 38 runs from his full quota of 10 overs.

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