A maiden international century by Manoj Tewary powered India to a 34-run win against the West Indies in the fifth and concluding game as the hosts wrapped up the One-day series 4-1 on Sunday.
Tewary’s 104 (125b, 10 x 4, 1 x 6) and his 117-run partnership with Virat Kohli (80 off 85 balls) that ended when the former retired due to cramps, helped India score 267 for six after losing two wickets in the first over. In reply, the West Indies caved in for 233 despite a power-packed 119 (110b, 4 x 4, 10 x 6) by Kieron Pollard and 53 by Andre Russell.
Pollard, in notching his first ODI century, to an extent redeemed himself on an otherwise disappointing tour, but his heroics along with that of Russell did nothing to mask the gap between the two teams though the West Indies, on occasions did run the hosts close as they did on Sunday night.
India could not have asked for a worse start than losing two wickets in the very first over as opener Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel were dismissed by Kemar Roach in his first over. Both were done in by the low bounce as Rahane was trapped in front and Patel’s stumps were knocked over.
Thereafter, it was fairly smooth sailing for the Indians as Tiwary and Gautam Gambhir (31) put on 83 for the third wicket followed by a 117-run partnership for the fourth wicket between the centurion and Virat Kohli (80 off 85 balls).
Once the Indian batsmen began to prosper, the proceedings were mostly one-sided and though Gambhir departed after a promising start, Tiwary, growing in confidence, and Kohli batted quite sensibly to lay a solid foundation for a sizeable total.
Tiwary, in particular, employed the lofted shot and the six off off-spinner Sunil Narine that took him deep into the 90s, was undoubtedly the shot of the Indian innings. Tiwary, who had had a rather poor start to his international career since his debut four years ago, blossomed with a series of well-timed strokes to get to his century before an attack of cramps forced retirement.
At the other end, Kohli hardly played a false shot and seemed content to score through nudge and pushes interspersed with an occasional boundary.
During the Tiwary-Kohli partnership, the Windies bowling appeared rather drab as the duo batted sensibly, biding their time for the loose ball to punish.
Though India lost a few wickets at the death, they looked to be in the clear with a par total on a pitch that was expected to get slower and lower.
The West Indies were never really in the hunt. Pathan struck in his first and third overs. Opener Lendl Simmons fell leg-before off the very first delivery and then Kieron Powell played on.
Mithun followed up with the wicket of Marlon Samuels who appeared as surprised as the bowler by the decision that ruled him out caught behind and then trapped debutant Jason Mohammed plumb in front. At 36 for four in the 10th over, the Windies were in dire straits.
Ravindra Jadeja, hit for a mighty six by Pollard, joined the mayhem by removing Denesh Ramdin, also a leg-before victim and the West Indies had lost half their side for just 78 in the 16th over.
Hereabouts, Pollard and Andre Russell exploded into action with some big hits that provided much-needed momentum to the chase. Jadeja went for 41 runs in his spell of five overs and Tiwary who replaced him, was smacked for 15 and Windies reached 140 for five in the 25th.
The Windies pair went hell for leather in a very entertaining stand that procured 89 runs off 79 balls, but the merriment ended in the 29th when Russell was run out by a direct hit from Gambhir while attempting a sharp single.
Jadeja, switching ends, had Darren Sammy caught by Rahane at backward point and the chase suddenly lost steam as the target proved just beyond the reach of the West Indies although Pollard continued his big hitting to get to his maiden ODI century, courtesy a dropped catch by Kohli when on 99, before falling in the 45th over.(IANS)