New Delhi: A useful contribution from Rohit Sharma and Captain Suresh Raina helped India register a convincing victory by a margin of four wickets over the West Indies in the first One Day International match at Queen’s Park Oval. For his unbeaten knock of 68 runs, Sharma was named man of the match.

Several fingers were raised over the inexperienced Indian team as majority of the senior players had withdrawn themselves from the WI tour. The youth Indian brigade was even termed as one of the weakest side to visit the Caribbean Islands. However, after thrashing the Windies in the T-20 match, the ‘new look’ Indian side defeated the host nation in the first ODI match.

After winning the toss, WI decided to bat but managed to put on only 214 runs of the board. Chasing the modest target, Indian team suffered three early jolts in form of the quick dismissal of Parthiv Patel (13), Virat Kohli (2) and S Badrinath (17). Although wickets tumbled around him, opener Shikhar Dhawan held the fort intact. Dhawan scored 51 runs of 76 balls which included three hits to the boundary and a six, before being dismissed by leg spinner D Bishoo.

After Dhawan’s dismissal, Raina walked on to the crease to support Sharma. The left hander made a quick fire 43 runs of 50 balls which included four boundaries. Raina and Sharma came up with a valuable 80 runs partnership for the fourth wicket. Yusuf Pathan failed to live up to his standards as he was dismissed after scoring 10 runs. Harbhajan Singh scored a six of Sammy’s bowling to guide India to a four wicket victory with 5.1 overs to spare.

Sharma who came in to bat when India had lost three wickets remained solid in approach. His 68 runs came off 75 balls including three boundaries and a six.

For Windies, leg spinner Anthony Martin was the most successful bowler. In his quota of 10 over, Martin conceded 39 runs and scalped two important wickets of Raina and Dhawan. Ravi Rampal also picked up two wickets and gave away 58 runs in his spell.

Earlier in the day, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Marlon Samuels scored hard-earned half centuries as West Indies struggled to a modest 214 for nine against India.

Opting to bat, West Indies witnessed a wobbly start to their innings as they lost their first three wickets scoring just 59 runs in 18.2 overs. But Sarwan and Samuels then paired up to resurrect the innings with a 82-run fourth-wicket partnership that came off 118 balls. While Sarwan’s 56 came off 94 balls and was studded with only five boundaries, Samuels took 75 deliveries to score his 55. He hit three fours and two sixes.

However, just when it was time to accelerate both Sarwan and Samuels gave away their wickets but not before registering half centuries to their names.The stand between Sarwan and Samuels was the only silver lining in the West Indies innings as the hosts scored 73 runs in the last 12 overs losing as many as six wickets.

Down the order, Dwayne Bravo tried his bit to up the scoring rate with a 20-ball 22 while opener Kirk Edwards (21 off 45) was the next best scorer for the Caribbean side.

For India, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh relished at the low and slow Queen’s Park Oval pitch with figures of three wickets for 32, while Praveen Kumar (2/37), Munaf Patel (2/47) and Raina (2/23) shared six wickets among them.

Squads:
West Indies: 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Kirk Edwards, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 5 Marlon Samuels, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Darren Sammy (capt), 8 Carlton Baugh (wk), 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Anthony Martin, 11 Devendra Bishoo.

India: 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 S Badrinath, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Suresh Raina (capt), 7 Yusuf Pathan, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Praveen Kumar, 11 Munaf Patel.

(JPN)