Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami lead India’s demolition of West Indies

first_imgWest Indies cricket team Jonny Bairstow blasts critics ‘waiting for England to fail’ at Cricket World Cup Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. 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Support The Guardian Share on Facebook Read more Since you’re here… Cricket World Cup 2019 Share on Pinterest West Indies went into the game with one win, against Pakistan back on 31 May, but such is the mapping of the tournament, and the unexpected flaws of the big four, of England, that they were still in with a chance of the semi-finals should the dice fall kindly.It didn’t, West Indies are out, though belatedly they discovered that they did not have to bowl short, knocking timely holes in the India innings.Kemar Roach, short and bottom heavy, small and scurrying, bowled full and accurately – and was the pick with three for 36; Holder kept it tight and snaffled Kohli when a hundred looked inevitable.When Rohit Sharma fell early, Kohli and KL Rahul put on 69, before Rahul was bowled, unexpectedly, by Holder two short of his fifty. As wickets fell about him Kohli kept some momentum, angling the runs into the gaps and whizzing swift singles, with the occasional whiffs of perfect arrogance, up on his tip-toes guiding the ball for four. When he fell between 50 and 100 for the fourth time in succession the baton fell to Dhoni, who had a life on eight after Hope badly fluffed a stumping. Dhoni was oddly leaden at times, the feet heavy, the reflexes less than quick. But it did not stop him hitting the first ball of the last over for six, and, after changing his bat for the last ball, doing it again.“We have quite a few players who play instinctive cricket and follow their positive gameplans,” Kohli said. “He is one guy in the middle who always sends out a message for the team. He has such a keen understanding of the game. He has always been that way, that is his strength, to play calculated cricket, to always stay in the game, equal to the opposition and then find ways of winning.”Right now, that is not a problem for India. Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Topics Virat Kohli It wasn’t a day for the cock of the walks, from either side. Could Chris Gayle, the day after announcing the reversal of his retirement from Tests, say goodbye to Old Trafford in style? No, gone for six. Could Carlos Brathwaite, the big-hitting almost-miracle maker, do it again? No, out, almost inevitably, for one. Even India’s batsman were not at their big-hitting best, though the man of the match award went to Virat Kohli for his 72.The plaudits instead went to the bowlers in blue, the fragile, the elongated, the idiosyncratic. The clockwork doll with the cocked wrist, the tiny will-o’-the-wisp, the spinning teddy bear and the second thought, Mohammed Shami, hat-trick taker against Afghanistan and playing only because of injury to Bhuvneshwar Kumar.They tore into a West Indies side chasing 269, never giving them freedom to play. Jasprit Bumrah and Shami tested and teased until in the fifth over Gayle’s impatience got the better of him and he misjudged the bounce from Shami and dollied the ball to Kedar Jadhav at mid-off. When Shai Hope, having been softened up by Bumrah, tried to drive at Shami and was bowled for five, West Indies were 16 for two.Sunil Ambris and Nicholas Pooran rebuilt, but slowly, and a score of 29 for two after 10 overs was the worst powerplay of the competition. But they plugged away, as Kohli juggled his bowlers and Ambris square-drove Hardik Pandya with some panache. But a couple of overs later, Pandya got his revenge when Ambris stuck his leg in front of a straight one and was gone for 31 – the highest score of the innings. From there West Indies lost the next seven wickets for 72 runs in 14 overs.Shimron Hetmyer survived an lbw review by an inside edge but Pooran slogged Kuldeep Yadav to long-off, Jason Holder had a half-baked drive at Yuzvendra Chahal, before Bumrah took two wickets in two balls – Brathwaite pushing awkwardly to give a one-handed diving catch to the ungainly looking MS Dhoni, and Fabian Allen lbw. Shami and Chahal wrapped up nine, 10, jack: Shami finishing with four for 16, Bumrah two for nine and Chahal two for 39. A worrying prospect indeed for England. India cricket team Read more Cricket India’s World Cup gaze is unwavering; only Afghanistan and the rain have caused even a blink. As West Indies played their final faltering hand, India eased seamlessly to the verge of the semi-finals – needing just a win from their remaining three games to fasten the seatbelt in place. Their next opponent? England, who they now replace at the top of the one-day rankings.It was a hot Old Trafford. A stadium filled with vuvuzelas and India flags that hung from every vantage point, from the balconies of the Hilton hotel, the shoulders of fans, from the glass front of the Point and most of all from the bare bones of the temporary stand, where they billowed in the breeze as layer upon layer of blue shirts filed in and up.Perhaps the fans primed by the West Indies v New Zealand thriller, by the glory of the Pakistan run chase at Edgbaston on Wednesday, may have left slightly disappointed. Perhaps they were after something explosive and thrilling. But the pitch, exhausted by the efforts of the weekend, was too stop-start, too sticky. The opposition too flawed, too eager to flail or fall. So instead spectators got professional, they got careful and in the end they got comfortable – victory by 125 runs with just over 15 overs to spare. Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn match reports Share via Email India beat West Indies by 125 runs: Cricket World Cup 2019 – as it happenedlast_img

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