London: Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami led another sterling bowling effort as India crushed West Indies by 125 runs at Old Trafford on Thursday to inch one step closer to the semi-finals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
The massive Indian victory was also highlighted by Virat Kohli who top-scored with 72, MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 56 and useful contributions from KL Rahul (48) and Hardik Pandya (46).
India now have 11 points while West Indies with 3 points from 7 matches are out of the semi-finals race.
Mohammed Shami started the damage with 2 early wickets before Bumrah picked 2 wickets in 2 balls to send West Indies crashing out of the World Cup. Between those two bursts from India’s star pacers, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal did serious damage to ensure India remained the only unbeaten team in the World Cup so far.
Chasing 269 on a tricky pitch, West Indies never found any momentum. Mohammed Shami removed Chris Gayle and Shai Hope inside the first 7 overs and the Windies never recovered from that early jolt. Sunil Ambris and Nicholas Pooran looked to put their team on the road to recovery but Hardik Pandya dismissed Ambris to trigger a typical West Indies collapse.
Kuldeep Yadav next struck to snare Nicholas Pooran and at 80 for 4 in the 21st over on a pitch offering turn, all West Indies hopes had been dashed. In the 24th over, Yuzvendra Chahal removed Jason Holder and India knew they were on the verge of a huge win.
But the dangerous Carlos Brathwaite was still in India’s way. Only a few days back, his barnstorming hundred had almost taken West Indies across the line against New Zealand in a high-scoring thriller. Against the best bowling attack in the world, there would be no Brathwaite magic.
Back for his second spell, Bumrah removed Brathwaite and Fabian Allen off consecutive deliveries before Shami struck again to see off Shimron Hetmyer as India marched towards a comfortable victory. Earlier after winning the toss, Virat Kohli decided India would bat.
Rohit Sharma was controversially ruled out by the third umpire Michael Gough who certainly did not rule the popularity charts among Indian fans on social media. But KL Rahul (48) and Virat Kohli (72) kept pressing forward against a disciplined West Indies bowling attack.
KL Rahul fell to another poor shot, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar failed but Kohli was a class apart. He timed the ball better than anyone else and was the real threat as West Indies looked to keep India under 300.
MS Dhoni struggled to get going once again and with Hardik Pandya, he could not even rotate the strike well. Pandya did try to up the ante but Dhoni was unable to get going at the other end.
The Dhoni-Pandya partnership was slow but the pair made sure India had the services of two big-hitting batsmen for the death overs. Pandya eventually perished for 46 but Dhoni set himself up to hit 2 sixes and 1 four in the final over of Oshane Thomas. He brought up his 72nd fifty in ODIs as India finished with a competitive total.