Composed Rohit seals series for India

Published: Sunday, June 12, 2011, 9:40 [IST]
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Composed Rohit seals series for India

North Sound, Antigua, June 12: Thanks to a fine hand by middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who remained unbeaten on 86 off 91 balls and some useful contributions from Harbhajan Singh (41 off 64 balls) and Praveen Kumar (25 off 15 balls), India overcame a Windies onslaught to reach home by 3 wickets with 22 balls to spare and seal the one-day series 3-0. India were in serious distress at 92/6 in the 23rd over, but the expertise and application of Sharma was good enough to guide India out of trouble. Earlier in the day, the Windies were tottering at 96/7 before a blitz by Andre Russell (92 off 64 balls) took the home side to 225/8 in their 50 overs.

In its chase, India got off to an unusually slow and cautious start in the face of some tight Windies pace bowling up front. The visitors reached 26/0 in 7 overs, before disaster struck in the form of two quick wickets from Windies' captain Darren Sammy. He first had Shikar Dhawan caught at cover for 4 off 15 balls and then in the very next ball, trapped Virat Kohli in front for a golden duck as the score read 26/2 in 7.4 overs.

Surviving opener Parthiv Patel counter-attacked by hammering Andre Russell for a six and a four in the 11th over and in the 14th, knocked a four off Sammy to take India past 50/2. Two overs later, Subramaniam Badrinath tried to settle in with a boundary off Sammy, but was run out brilliantly by Russell in the next ball as India slipped to 60/3 in 15.3 overs.

Then Rohit Sharma upped the ante, striking a six and a four off Sammy in the 18th over. But leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo struck back to have Parthiv caught at point for 46 off 56 balls as India slid to 79/4 in 18.1 overs. Then Kieron Pollard removed Suresh Raina for 3 and Bishoo sent back Yusuf Pathan for 1, in successive overs as the Windies wrested the momentum by pegging India back to 92/6 in 22.2 overs.

Then Sharma and Harabhajan Singh took their side past 100 in the 25th over and dug in their heels. Bhajji survived a dropped catch off Russell by Anthony Martin before Sharma struck a four off Sammy to take India past 150/6 in the 38th over.

Then Sharma and Harbhajan began to turn the tables on the Windies as the former lofted Sammy for a six and the latter struck Russell for a four and a six off successive overs as India climbed to 180/6. But Russell immediately struck back to have Bhajji caught behind for 41 off 64 balls.

Praveen Kumar came to the crease with India requiring 44 runs off 48 balls with 3 wickets left and straight away launched an assault. He carted Bishoo for a six and knocked Kemar Roach for a four before taking another maximum off Russell as India sped past 200.

Then Sharma performed the last rites on the hosts when he hit Pollard for a four and dispatched Roach to the fence to finish off the match in the 47th over.

Oneindia Cricket

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