Dhawan 5th ODI century, possibly his 1st without the assistance of a ‘life’, was the feature of India series-clinching win over the West Indies in the third and final fixture at Kanpur, on Wednesday. Dhawan’s rollicking 119 (95b) helped the hosts chase down the 264 they were set to win on a pitch that aided seam bowling early in the day, but speedily settled down into a decent batting track as the sun came out.
The West Indies to 263, in an innings of marked imbalance. Once Johnson Charles was bowled by vicious Bhuvneshwar Kumar in swinger, the visitors rebuild through a big, if somewhat chance, 117-run partnership in 24.3 overs between opener Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels. India trio of young seamers gained perceptible movement and several edges in hazy conditions, but were unable to get through again.
Ashwin removed them both. Powell perished to a top-edge on the sweep, while Samuels bowled on the third ball of the batting Power play. A phase of quiet came to be, as the West Indies lost Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Bravo, but good things were just around the corner.
K Powell (70), M Samuels (71),Darren Bravo (51*) and Sammy (37) clubbed two sixes apiece in a breakneck 6th-wicket stand of 67 in just 8.1 overs, the last 3 yielding 41 runs. The late flourish took the Carribbeans to a total that may have been competitive for a side other than India playing at home.
The chase was dealt a double blow when Ravi Rampaul dismissed Rohit Sharma (4) and Virat Kohli (19) early. But Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj (55) added 129 for the 3rd wicket in what turned out to be the decisive phase. Just like the Windies, India too lost their first in the 5th over of the innings.
Narine bowled 33 deliveries for just 18 runs to Yuvraj, who clearly struggled to read him. Just when it looked that the Chandigarh left-hander would eventually give in to relentless pressure, Sammy relieved it through a string of short balls that were duly dispatch to where they deserved to be dispatched to. Yuvraj Singh lived on to reach a laborious 5ty in 68 balls, and was lastly out to the man who deserved his scalp the most.
Victory arrived on the back of yet another good performance by Suresh Raina (34) and Dhawan eventual fall Neither, however, had too much of a bearing on the outcome. Finally India won the series 2-1.