Two overs to go, India needed just 16. MS Dhoni, the finisher was still there to sail the Indian ship. But alas! It was not to be. The finisher played a dot ball before giving the strike to tail-ender Kuldeep Yadav. Yadav, rather expectedly, missed the next two deliveries before giving back the strike to the Indian Wicket-Keeper. Kesrick Williams knew he has done well in the penultimate over to just concede two, and he knew that he had to finish well else Dhoni will send the ball high and handsome into the stands. Dhoni’s plans were simple, to hit it out of the park, and he went for it. The ball went up in the air and Alzari Joseph got the easiest of catches at long-on to dismiss Dhoni and, hence, India’s hopes.
Dhoni’s performance, where he scored 54 off 114 deliveries, might be debated as the cause for the India loss and his position in the team might also be questioned, but the failure was an accumulated one. Ajinkya Rahane, who is opening the Indian innings in absence of Rohit Sharma, scored a half century but a 91-ball 60 didn’t help India either. Shikhar Dhawan (5 off 7), the chase-master Virat Kohli (3 off 12), Dinesh Karthik (2 off 19) and Kedar Jadhav (10 off 14), everyone failed miserably and India got bundled out for 178 in 49.4 overs. For West Indies, Captain Jason Holder picked up five-wickets while Alzarri Joseph picket up two.
Earlier, Mohammad Shami’s brilliant display of fast bowling kept West Indies in check and Umesh Yadav (3-wickets), Hardik Pandya (3-wickets) and Kuldeep Yadav (2-wickets) benefitted from the fast bowler’s economic bowling and restricted West Indies to a mere 189-9. Shami, who was making a comeback to the ODI cricket after two years and three months, didn’t bag a wicket but the pressure created by him was utilized by others.
India, even after suffering the shocking defeat, lead the five-match ODI series 2-1 with the last match still to be played; the first match of the tournament ended without a result due to rain. Although India should have clinched the series on Sunday, they would hope for a come-back in the next match to win the series. West Indies will look to cash in on the momentum from the win on Sunday.