India kicked off the ODI series in style by winning the first game by five wickets. On what turned out to be a tricky surface, the Indian spinners wreaked havoc as Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja shared seven wickets, with the former picking up four. After bundling the Caribbean side out for 114 runs, India chased down the 115-run target and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and put the hosts to bat first. Hardik Pandya took charge of the new ball and drew first blood by dismissing Kyle Mayers in just the third over. Debutant Mukesh Kumar then rejoiced and joined the celebrations, picking up his maiden ODI wicket in the form of Alick Athanaze. Shai Hope then provided some momentum in the game but he fell short of partners at the other end.
West Indies skipper Shai Hope was the top scorer for his side. He notched up 43 runs in 45 deliveries, hitting four fours and a six. He was the batter who gave the Indian bowlers a run for their money before Kuldeep eventually dismissed him in the 23rd over. As a result, the West Indies closed their innings with mere 114 runs on the board.
Chasing the target, seniors Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli took a backseat as Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill opened the innings. After Gill’s cheap dismissal, Suryakumar Yadav walked in to bat. But it was Ishan Kishan who handled the chase and hit a half-century, taking his team closer to the target. While Kohli never walked out to bat, Rohit batted at No. 7 after other batters had lost their wickets. The skipper scored the winning runs as India chased the target down in 22.5 overs with five wickets in hand.
Top Performers of the Match:
Kuldeep Yadav was phenomenal with the ball as he joined hands with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to wreak havoc on the field. Kuldeep’s victims included opposition skipper Shai Hope, Dominic Drakes, Yannic Cariah, and Jayden Seales as the spinner registered figures of 4/6 in just three overs to rightfully earn the Player of the Match award.
Ishan Kishan looked formidable with the bat as he opened the innings for the Men in Blue during the chase. The young wicketkeeper-batter notched up 52 runs in 46 deliveries before being dismissed by Gudakesh Motie. But before walking back to the pavilion, his knock, which was studded with seven fours and a six, helped India get closer to the finish line.
What’s next for both teams?
The two sides will now face each other in the second ODI of the series at the same venue- Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, on July 29.