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Ind vs WI: India chase down 316 to clinch series

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Ind vs WI: India chase down 316 to clinch seriesCuttack, Dec 22 (IANS) A big opening stand between Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul, Virat Kohli”s 85 and a late surge from Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja helped India chase down 316 and win the three-match series against the West Indies 2-1 at the Barabati Stadium here on Sunday.

The West Indies seemed to have gained the upper hand after dismissing Kohli late in the game, but Thakur came in and turned the game around with the bat to see the hosts home.

India”s chase started with yet another strong opening stand between Rahul (77) and Rohit (63). The pair put up 122 runs in just 21.2 overs to put India firmly in the driving seat.

During the course of his knock, Rohit broke Sri Lanka great Sanath Jayasuriya”s 22-year-old record for most runs in a calendar year by an opener across formats. Rohit”s ninth run took his tally to 2,388 runs, which took him past Jayasuriya”s 1997 tally of 2,387 runs.

Rohit and Rahul kept India in cruise mode in the first 20 overs until Jason Holder got the breakthrough with the wicket of Rohit. Holder bowled a length delivery that had some extra bounce and Rohit ended up nicking it to Shai Hope behind the stumps.

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Kohli and Rahul, however, seemed to continue the good work until the latter was done for pace by Alzarri Joseph. Joseph hurried Rahul into tucking the ball away off his hips which led to it ballooning straight into the hands of Hope.

The West Indies tightened the noose after that with Keemo Paul getting Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant in quick succession. Kedar Jadhav then fell to Sheldon Cottrell and the match was poised on a knife”s edge with India 228/5 in 39 overs.

Ravindra Jadeja then held on with Kohli as the pair went about repairing the damage. The two stitched a counter attacking stand to tip the balance India”s favour.

Kohli (85) was nearing another century in a run chase before chopping a rather loose delivery by Keemo Paul on to his stumps, much to the dismay of the capacity crowd at the Barabati Stadium.

However, Shardul Thakur came in and took the chase by its horns. He hit a four off the very first ball he faced and ended up smashing 17 off just six balls. He hit one more four and a six and practically took the game away from the visitors.

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A tight run in the end seemed to have done the job, although there was an appeal for run out but Keemo Paul had overstepped which meant that the decision did not matter.

Earlier, a late flourish led by captain Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran helped the West Indies set up a competitive target of 316 for India to chase.

Pollard and Pooran put up a 135-run stand for the fifth wicket to revitalise the West Indies innings which was struggling until then.

Pooran scored 89 off 64 balls with the help of 10 fours and three sixes. Pollard, on the other hand, smashed 74 off 51 balls, his innings laced with three fours and seven sixes.

The West Indies scored 32 runs off the last two overs, most of which came off Pollard”s bat. The visitors amassed 118 runs in the last 10 overs.

Brief scores: West Indies 315/5 in 50 overs (Nicholas Pooran 89, Kieron Pollard 74; Navdeep Saini 2/58) vs India 316/6 in 48.4 overs (Virat Kohli 85, K.L. Rahul 77, Rohit Sharma 63; Keemo Paul 3/59)

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