IN what could be Chris Gayle’s last One Day International (ODI) for West Indies, the regional team could not give him the winning farewell as India sealed the three-match series 2-0 with a six-wicket victory on the Duckworth-Lewis method in the third and final ODI at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair, yesterday.
West Indies scored 240 for seven in their allotted 35 overs batting first in an innings interrupted by rain.
India needed 255 in 35 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method and after a stuttering start they cruised to victory to wrap up another series win. Earlier in the tour India swept West Indies 3-0 in the T20 series.
Gayle initially announced that he will retire from ODIs after the 2019 World Cup, but changed his mind to play against India. The fans at the Oval would have been glad that he had a change of heart.
The 'Universe Boss' dominated the India pacers along with fellow opener Evin Lewis in a destructive 115-run opening partnership in less than 11 overs.
After a short rain delay in the second over, Gayle played with the aggression that has made him one of the most popular figures in world cricket. Gayle, who passed legendary Brian Lara as the leading run scorer for West Indies in the second ODI on Sunday, punished opening pace bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami.
Gayle and Lewis took the aerial route regularly as West Indies raced to 79 without loss after eight overs. At one stage, Kumar had figures of 0/48 in five overs and Shami had 0/31 in three overs.
Gayle brought up his 50 and the Windies 100 in the 10th over when he pulled left-arm fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed for six.
The introduction of spin brought immediate reward as leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal got the breakthrough. Lewis was caught at long on by Shikhar Dhawan attempting a slog sweep for 43 off 29 deliveries, a knock that included five fours and three sixes.
In the following over, Gayle fell for 72 when he was caught by India captain Virat Kohli at mid-off diving forward. Gayle’s knock lasted 41 balls and comprised eight fours and five sixes.
All the Indian players greeted Gayle as he walked off the field, while fans gave him a standing ovation as West Indies were now 121/2 after 11.2 overs.
Gayle and Kohli, who have been playing alongside each other at Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League for a number of years, did their special handshake before Gayle left the field. Gayle savored the moment as he lifted his bat to the crowd with his helmet on top of hit.
Bowling in tandem, spinners Chahal and Kedar Jadhav kept Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer at bay.
Hope ended the drought of boundaries with a four off Jadhav, before rain came and caused a three-hour delay with West Indies 158/2 after 22 overs.
On the resumption, Shami bounced back with some brilliant bowling using the yorker on a number of occasions.
Shami bowled Hetmyer for 25 when he mistimed a delivery, before Hope was bowled for 24 by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja attempting to cut.
The West Indies were now 171/4 after 25.4 overs.
Nicholas Pooran, the top West Indies batsman at the 2019 World Cup, entertained with some stroke play.
The left-hander used the slog sweep to good effect, hitting Jadeja for two sixes in the 30th over to help West Indies score 17 runs in the over.
Pooran’s cameo came to an end when he was caught at long on for 30 off 16 balls to give Shami another wicket.
The innings lost some momentum with the loss of Pooran as the West Indies progressed to 225/6 after 34 overs. Carlos Brathwaite then struck Ahmed for a straight six, which was followed by an inside edge for four to give the innings a boost. Brathwaite was then out going for another big shot, before Fabian Allen ended the innings with a four down to third man to help West Indies to 240/7 after 35 overs.
The Indian bowlers, led by Shami, limited West Indies to 82 runs in the last 13 overs. Shami ended with figures of 2/50 in seven overs and Ahmed took 3/68 in his seven overs.
Indian openers Dhawan and Rohit Sharma got their team off to a flying start, before a hug mix-up cost the latter his wicket. The batsmen ended up on the same end as Allen retrieved the ball at point and threw it to fast bowler Kemar Roach to complete the run out.
After steady progression, Dhawan and Rishabh Pant fell in quick succession. Both batsmen were caught by Keemo Paul at mid-off, chipping down the wicket, off the bowling of left-arm spinner Allen.
India were now 92/3 in the 13th over with Kohli and Shreyas Iyer at the wicket. Allen and off-spinner Roston Chase kept the scoring down for a few overs, before Iyer increased the scoring rate with back-to-back sixes off Allen.
Iyer, who had a few solid knocks for India A leading up to this series, showed that he belonged on the international stage. Roach eventually got the breakthrough when Iyer was caught for 65 off 41 balls to end the 120-run partnership.
Kohli continued to be the rock of the India innings and brought up his century with the visitors closing in on victory. Kohli, who ended on 114 not out off 99 deliveries with 14 fours, was joined by Jadhav (19 not out) and the pair took India home.
WEST INDIES vs INDIA
West Indies inns:
C Gayle c Kohli b Ahmed*72
E Lewis c Dhawan b Chahal*43
S Hope b Jadeja*24
S Hetmyer b Shami*25
N Pooran c sub (Pandey) b Shami*30
J Holder c Kohli b Ahmed*14
C Brathwaite c Pant b Ahmed*16
F Allen not out*6
K Paul not out*0
EXTRAS (B1, LB2, NB1, W6)*10
Total for seven wickets (35 overs)*240
Did not bat: R Chase, K Roach.
Fall of wickets: 115; 121; 171; 171; 211; 221; 236,
BOWLING: Kumar 5-1-48-0 (W3); Shami 7-1-50-2 (W1, NB1); Ahmed 7-0-68-3; Chahal 7-0-32-1 (W1); Jadhav 4-0-13-0; Jadeja 5-0-26-1 (W1).
R Sharma run out (Allen/Roach)*10
S Dhawan c Paul b Allen*36
V Kohli not out*114
R Pant c Paul b Allen*0
S Iyer c Holder b Roach*65
K Jadhav not out*19
EXTRAS (LB4, W8)*12
Total for four wickets (32.3 overs)*256
Did not Bat: R Jadeja, B Kumar, M Shami, K Ahmed, Y Chahal.
Fall of wickets: 25; 91; 92; 212.
BOWLING: Roach 7-0-53-1 (W1); Holder 4-0-39-0; Paul 5-0-39-0 (W4); Allen 6-0-40-2; Chase 7-0-43-0; Brathwaite 3.3-0-38-0 (W2).
Result: India won by six wickets (D/L method).
Series: India won series 2-0.
Man of the Match: Virat Kohli (India).
Man of the Series: Virat Kohli (India).