India beat West Indies by 4 wickets in a thrilling encounter to win the series

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Picture Courtsey: Times of India

It was an exciting encounter as India ended the 2019 season with a thrilling 4 wicket win in the final and deciding One day international match played at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack on Sunday.

Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to field first. It was a cautious approach by West Indies openers Evin Lewis and Shai Hope scoring just 44 runs in the first 10 overs.  Lewis struggled with his timing while Hope impressed with his timing. In attempt to hit a big shot, Ravindra Jadeja got the breakthrough dismissing Evin Lewis for 21. Lewis and Hope added 57 runs in 15th over. Mohammed Shami produced a beauty to dismiss Shai Hope for 42. Roston Chase who was promoted at number 3 could not score runs with ease. Shimron Hetymer came to the crease and took time before smashing the Indian bowlers. Hetymer stepped up the gas with some big hits. Playing his first ODI match, Navdeep Saini got the wicket of Hetymer for 37. Hetymer and Chase added 62 runs for the 3rd wicket.

Saini struck again dismissing Roston Chase with a brilliant yorker to put West Indies under pressure at 144 for 4. West Indies captain Kieron Pollard came to the crease and took time to settle with Nicolas Pooran. After settling in, both batsmen took on the inexperienced Indian bowlers. Pooran reached his fifty off just 43 balls while Kieron Pollard completed his half-century off 44 balls. It was an amazing display of batting by both these hard hitters. Shardul Thakur dismissed Nicolas Pooran for a brilliant 89 off 64 balls. Pooran and Pollard added 135 runs for the 5th wicket. Pollard made the batting look hitting some big hits to help West Indies post 315 for 5 in 50 overs. In the last 10 overs, West Indies scored 118 runs for loss of 1 wicket.

In reply to 316 runs to win, Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul played with positive intent which put the West Indies bowlers under pressure. At the end of 10 overs, India were 59 for 0.

After the power play overs, Indian openers continued their positive stroke play. Rahul impressed reaching his fifty off 49 balls while Rohit completed his fifty off 52 balls. Jason Holder provided the breakthrough for West Indies dismissing Rohit for 63. Indian openers added 122 runs for opening wicket. Virat Kohli came to the crease and showed his class with sublime timing. Joseph struck by getting the wicket of Rahul for 77. Rahul and Kohli added 45 runs for the 2nd wicket. Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant went in quick succession which left India in some trouble at 201 for 4. Kohli completed his fifty off 51 balls. Kedar Jadhav also fell cheaply for 9. Ravindra Jadeja came to the crease and took pressure off from Kohli. Jadeja hit some vital boundaries which made the equation under control. Keemo Paul got the big wicket of Kohli to give West Indies hopes of winning. Kohli and Jadeja added 58 runs for the 6th wicket. With 22 runs require off 18 balls, Shardul Thakur hit a boundary and six off Sheldon Cottrell bowling. Thakur hit a quick fire 17 off 6 balls to help India win the match by 4 wickets with 8 balls to spare.

India 316 for 6 in 48.4 overs ( Virat Kohli 85, Rohit Sharma 77, Keemo Paul 3/59) beat West Indies 15 for 5 in 50 overs ( Nicolas Pooran 89, Kieron Pollard 74*, Navdeep Saini 2/58) by 4 wickets.

Virat Kohli was named the man of the match for his 85. Rohit Sharma was awarded the man of the series for his 159 and 63.

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