Chennai: Toned up West Indies blow India away
Centuries by Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope too good for Virat Kohli & Co in ODI series opener at Chennai
Chennai: Shimron Hetmyer smashed a career-best 139 ahead of next week's IPL auction, toying with an ordinary-looking Indian attack to set up an eight-wicket win for West Indies in the ODI series opener here on Sunday.
Chasing 288 on a slow surface was expected to be a challenging task but thanks to Hetmyer (139 off 106) and opener Shai Hope (102 not out off 150), the visitors raced to victory in 47.5 overs. The duo shared a decisive 218-run stand for the second wicket after the fall of Sunil Ambris in the fifth over.
India had recovered to 287 for eight after being put in to bat with Shreyas Iyer (70 off 88) scoring his third consecutive half-century and Rishabh Pant (71 off 69) returning to form to silence his critics.
Shai Hope was impressive as well
The lack of a specialist fifth bowler hurt India as the combination of debutant Shivam Dube (0-68 in 7.5 overs) and Kedar Jadhav (0-11 in one over) leaked 79 runs in 8.5 overs.
Hetmyer was unstoppable en route to his fifth ODI century, smashing as many as seven sixes including the one that hit the roof. Most of his big hits went sailing over the deep midwicket boundary.
Hope gave solid support to Hetmyer and deservingly completed his eighth ODI hundred. Another talented southpaw like Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (29 not out off 23), hit back-to-back boundaries to register a memorable win for West Indies.
Earlier, Pant struck his maiden half-century at M S Dhoni's spiritual home to silence his critics as India shrugged off a poor start to post a competitive total. Iyer, who is emerging as a solid number four, and Pant paired up for a 114-run stand for the fourth wicket after India lost opener KL Rahul (6) and skipper Virat Kohli (4) in the seventh over of the innings.
Rohit Sharma (36 off 56) too struggled on a slow surface before Iyer and Pant resurrected the innings with their gritty partnership. A quickfire half-century partnership between Kedar Jadhav (40 off 35) and Ravindra Jadeja (21 off 21), who batted ahead of debutant Shivam Dube, provided the thrust in the slog overs.
Left-arm paceman Sheldon Cottrell (2-46 from 10 overs including 3 maidens), Keemo Paul (2-41) and Alzarri Joseph (2-45) were among the wickets for the visiting team.
The home team appeared to be in a spot of bother at 80 for three in the 19th over on a sluggish pitch when Iyer and Pant came together. After taking their time to get going, the two played some splendid shots and were not afraid to hit the ball in the air when the opportunity presented itself.
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