WI Tri-Series Cricket: Virat Ton Helps India Beat West Indies With A Bonus Point!

Virat In Full Flow
Team India kept its chances alive for a place in the final of the West Indies Tri-Nation ODI Cricket Series-2013 by crushing West Indies by 102 runs in the last league match between the two in Port of Spain, Trinidad yesterday. West Indies won the toss again and following the Kingston ‘trend’ elected to field first. But this time Team India was ready and did not bother about the ‘trend’ already demolished by Sri Lanka at their cost only the other day, though there were the usual scares and hiccups before stand-in captain Virat Kohli unleashed a breathtaking batting display. The opening duo Shikhar Dhawan (69) and Rohit Sharma (46) staged a rollicking partnership of 123 runs and after Dhawan was the first out wickets fell in regular intervals letting WI come back into the game with India at 168/4. This was a crucial juncture as India had to win the game possibly with a bonus point to stay afloat.

Virat Kohli proved to be the inspiration behind a regrouped India as he led from the front. Starting cautiously Virat opened out with a brilliant array of effortless shot all around the ground and got out only in the last ball bowled notching up his 14th ODI century in just 81 balls. He made exactly 102 runs—exactly the margin of victory for India finally. Team India finally set a mammoth target of 312 in fifty overs for the hosts amassing more than 80 runs in the last seven overs. 

Correcting the mistake made in the encounter with Sri Lanka Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was taken back to open the Indian attack and the seameer immediately justified his place by capturing 3 crucial wickets. West Indies started their batting shakily and just when they achieved a postion of relative strength at 56/2 a heavy downpour disrupted the proceedings. Duckworth and Lewis rules came into play thereafter setting a target of 274 runs in 39 overs for WI. The hosts suffered their usual habit of losing wickets in heaps maybe due to rain interruption or the D/L or an inspired Indian attack. They got all out for 171 in the 34th over rewarding India with a desperately needed bonus point. Although costly at first Umesh Yadav chipped in with 3 wickets too, and Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja evenly shared the others wickets to fall. 

If Sri Lanka win their match against the hosts tomorrow they will have 9 points (10 with a bonus point) and will sail into the final provided they defeat India in the last league match on Tuesday. If they lose tomorrow Sri Lanka would still remain in contention on an Indian defeat and be eliminated otherwise. With 9 points WI will the top team to qualify on a victory over Sri Lanka and on a defeat all three teams will be in with a chance. A short tournament deadlocked in a big way! 

In a virtual final before the Final India with 5 points have to beat Sri Lanka on Tuesday, bonus point or not, to be in with a chance to qualify. Back with a vibrant team spirit and winning ways the ICC Champions Trophy winner Team India is set to be a huge challenge for Sri Lanka to overcome. 


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