Twice World Cup winning India team was on the cusp of securing a place in the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup after stretching their unbeaten run in the tournament with a clinical 125-run win over West Indies that eliminated the Caribbean on Thursday.
Choosing to bat first, the middle order of India did not exactly cover themselves in glory, but the elegant 72 by Virat Kohli and the labored 56 of Mahendra Singh Dhoni helped them to get their total score to 268-7
Then Mohammed Shami and his bowling peers came back to skittle out West Indies for 143 in 34.2 overs as India jumped to second place in the rankings after registering their fifth victory in six matches with one no result. They’re lying one point behind Australia who’ve played one more match.
After Afghanistan and South Africa, West Indies became the third team to be eliminated after their fifth defeat in seven matches.
Kohli earlier continued his prolific run in the tournament, however, West Indies twice made intelligent use of the review scheme to bring India down to 140-4 in the 29th over.
Rohit Sharma had taken Kemar Roach (3-36) nonchalantly for a six after a quiet beginning before the quick sneaked one through his bat-pad gap and appealed for caught-behind but was turned down.
West Indies reviewed the decision, and when the replays showed contact with the ball and he was duly handed out, Rohit was left shaking his head. Roach later, using the review scheme, sent Kedar Jadhav back similarly, dismissing him caught behind.
Opener KL Rahul raised 69 runs after Rohit’s loss with Kohli to stabilize the innings. In his risk-free manner, a typically busy Kohli accumulated runs but Rahul, who made 48, dropped to Jason Holder as India threw off another nice start. Vijay Shankar had another chance to impress at number four and only managed 14.
Sunil Ambris (31) and Nicholas Pooran (28) forged a half-century partnership, but when both dropped in fast sequence to leave their middle order with the burdensome task, the wheels came off their chase.
Jasprit Bumrah then claimed two-in-two, including the scalp of Carlos Brathwaite, to effectively seal the win for India.