Port of Spain, June 7: India began their 5-match one-day series against hosts West Indies on a victorious note with Rohit Sharma (68 off 75) guiding the visitors home by 4 wickets with 31 balls remaining. Chasing 214/9, India were in some trouble at 61/3 in 15.3 overs when Sharma came to the crease and along with Shikar Dhawan (51 off 76 balls), took the side past 100. Then Suresh Raina (43 off 50 balls) played a useful hand before Sharma and Harbhajan Singh finished off the match. Even the effort of two Windies' leg-breaks in Devendra Bishoo (1/37) and Anthony Martin (2/39) wasn't enough to deter the visitors from winning.
India's chase began confidently with opener Shikar Dhawan carting paceman Ravi Rampaul for two consecutive fours in the 3rd over, before Parthiv Patel followed up with a boundary off Anthony Martin. But in the 6th over, the Windies got the breakthrough when they ran out Patel for 13 off 15 balls in the 6th over as the score read 29/1 in 6 overs.
In the very next over, Rampaul had Virat Kohli caught behind for 2 off 8 balls and India had slipped to 34/2 in 6.5 overs. Then, new batsman S Badrinath and Dhawan took India past 50/2 in the 11th over.
However, a short while later, India lost their third wicket when Bishoo had Badrinath caught behind for 17 off 30 balls. The new man in the middle - Rohit Sharma and Dhawan tried to put the house in order as the latter hit a six off Dwayne Bravo in the 23rd over. The batting duo then took Indian past 100/3 in the 25th over.
But no sooner had Dhawan made his half century than Anthony Martin accounted for his wicket (for 51 runs off 76 balls) and Indian were 106/4 in 25.4 overs. Suresh Raina came in and set about taking the innings forward with Sharma. 12 runs came off Windies captain Darren Sammy in the 35th over, including a six from Sharma as India began to wrest back the initiative.
India reached 150 in 35 overs. With 63 runs required of the last 15 overs at that juncture, the batting pair began to strike the ball more fluently. Each batsman knocked a boundary off Martin in the 39th over as India climbed to 179/4.
But Raina soon departed to Martin himself for 43 off 50 balls, before Yusuf Pathan, who helped India cross 200 with a six in the 43rd over, was caught and bowled by Rampaul (for 10 off 12 balls) in the 44th over. India were on the threshold of victory with the score at 210/6. Harbhajan Singh hit the winning shot - a six over deep square leg.