India surged back into contention in the tri-nation series with a crushing 102-run victory over the West Indies in the fourth match at the Queen’s Park Oval on Friday.
At the bottom of the standings following defeats in Jamaica in their first two matches of the competition, the World Cup holders rebounded with a tremendous all-round effort in the sultry Trinidad conditions.
Put in by home captain Dwayne Bravo, the Champions Trophy winners amassed 311 for seven batting first and then earned a bonus point to go with the comprehensive win in restricting the home side to 171 all out after the Windies were set a revised target of 274 off 39 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis system following a 90-minute interruption for rain.
West Indies have little time to lick their wounds as they face Sri Lanka today before the preliminary phase of the series concludes on Tuesday with the Indians taking on the Sri Lankans.
The Caribbean side still top the table with nine points but India have joined Sri Lanka on five, although they still trail on net run-rate, leaving all the possibilities open ahead of the remaining fixtures.
With injured regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni looking on approvingly, stand-in skipper Virat Kohli led from the front with an attacking innings of 102 - his 14th ODI century - in pacing India to their formidable total.
He was given an excellent platform courtesy of an opening partnership of 123 between Shikhar Dhawan (69) and Rohit Sharma (46) and was in no mood to waste such a promising foundation, blasting his way to the hundred in the final over of the innings off 83 deliveries with 13 fours and two sixes.
“More than my performance, I’m really happy that the team won, and with the bonus point to get back into contention,” said a delighted Kohli after victory was formalised.
“When you’ve got three quality teams in a competition like this, you can expect turnarounds like what happened here. I’m just happy we’ve got the result we wanted today so we’ll see what happens on Sunday to know what we have to do in our final match.
It was my second game as captain and got a century. I was getting good starts, but hitting that one shot straight to the fielder, so I was waiting for this big innings,” he added.