Cricket World Cup 2019: India flex muscle again with big win over West Indies

 stuff.co.nz  06/27/2019 18:30:36 

Mohammed Shami was a late inclusion in India's starting XI at the World Cup and yet he's finished off two victories within a week.

Shami finished off the West Indies at Old Trafford, Manchester on Thursday (Friday NZT) with a four-wicket haul that netted dismissals at each end of the innings. By doing so, the veteran paceman ended the West Indies' hopes of advancing to the playoffs, too.

India continued their unbeaten streak with a 125-run victory, with skipper Virat Kohli guiding his lineup to 268-7 before Shami chimed in with figures of 4-16 to skittle West Indies for 143 in the 35th over.

Captain's approval: India's Virat Kohli congratulates his seamer Mohammed Shami who took back to back four-wicket hauls at the World Cup.
Captain's approval: India's Virat Kohli congratulates his seamer Mohammed Shami who took back to back four-wicket hauls at the World Cup.

It was a fifth win in the tournament for India, and a rebound in form following a close call against Afghanistan last Saturday when it took Shami's hat trick in the last over to seal a nervy result.

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"These haven't been massive scoring games, but we've found ways of winning," Kolhi said. "Fielders... putting bodies on the line, showing their desperation to win. The opposition feels like this team is here to win.

Chris Gayle of West Indies was one of four wickets to India's Mohammed Shami.
Chris Gayle of West Indies was one of four wickets to India's Mohammed Shami.

"A lot of self-belief in the team room right now - we feel like we can win from any situation."

It was a fifth loss in six games for the West Indians since a commanding opening win over Pakistan, and it makes them the third team to drop out of playoffs contention along with Afghanistan and South Africa.

The West Indies bowling attack did their job with Kemar Roach taking 3-36, skipper Jason Holder snaring 2-33 and Sheldon Cottrell taking two late wickets to return 2-50.

Only Kohli, with 72 from 82 balls, and MS Dhoni, with an unbeaten 56, posted half centuries for India. Hardik Pandya contributed 46 from 38 balls in a 70-run stand with Dhoni.

The Indian batsmen grafted in the conditions. The West Indian batsmen didn't last long enough to really settle, with opening bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Shami getting on top early with their pace and seam movement.

Shami was drafted in as the new-ball bowler when Bhuvneshwar Kumar injured a hamstring, and with eight wicket in two games he'll be hard to dislodge.

Another half-century for India's captain Virat Kohli on the way to the top score of 72 at Old Trafford.
Another half-century for India's captain Virat Kohli on the way to the top score of 72 at Old Trafford.

Shami dismissed Chris Gayle (6) and No 3 Shai Hope (5) in his opening spell and, after an innings building 55-run partnership between Nicholas Pooran (28) and Sunil Ambris (31), it all went downhill for West Indies.

Shami returned for two late wickets, including the last one with a short ball that No 11 Oshane Thomas could only fend away to slip.

India moved past New Zealand into second place with 11 points, one behind defending champions Australia, and travels to Birmingham to play England on Sunday in a match that could determine the hosts' playoff fate.

AT A GLANCE

India 268-7 off 50 overs (Virat Kohli 72, MS Dhoni 56no, KL Rahul 48, Hardik Pandya 46; Kemar Roach 3-36, Jason Holder 2-33, Sheldon Cottrell 2-50) beat West Indies 143 off 34.2 overs (Sunil Ambris 31; Mohammed Shami 4-16, Jasprit Bumrah 2-9, Yuzvendra Chahal 2-39) by 125 runs.

AP

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