India begin ODI campaign against West Indies with five-wicket win

India secured a comfortable five-wicket win against the West Indies in the first ODI of the three-match series at Kensington Oval. Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja starred for India, claiming seven wickets together. Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan justified his promotion to the opening slot, top-scoring with 52 runs.

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Introduced into the attack in the 17th over, Kuldeep wreaked havoc, finishing with figures of 4/6. Jadeja also played a crucial role in West Indies’ collapse with 3/37. The duo bowled out the hosts to their second lowest ODI total of just 114 runs in 23 overs.

Chasing a paltry 115, opener Ishan Kishan smashed seven fours and a six in his quickfire 52 off 46 balls. India reshuffled their batting order, allowing skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to relax while giving others a chance with the bat.

Eventually, Rohit came in at number seven and, with 163 balls remaining, finished the chase, ensuring India’s ninth consecutive victory over the West Indies.

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India’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss paid off. The bowlers, including all-rounders Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, and debutant seamer Mukesh Kumar, each took a wicket. The fielders took excellent catches as India displayed an impressive all-around performance.

West Indies’ top-order batsmen struggled, and skipper Shai Hope’s 43 runs off 45 balls was not enough as wickets kept falling at the other end. Jadeja dismissed Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell, and Romario Shepherd in quick succession. Kuldeep then showcased his skills, taking three wickets with his googlies, ending West Indies’ disappointing batting display by dismissing Jayden Seales.

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Chasing a modest target of 115, Kishan and Shubman Gill got India off to a solid start, but Gill eventually fell to a good catch by Brandon King at second slip. Suryakumar Yadav played a promising knock but fell to Yannic Cariah’s lbw trap.

Ishan Kishan continued to impress with his stroke play, hitting some beautiful drives, pulls, and flicks. Despite Pandya’s run-out, Kishan maintained his attacking approach, scoring sixes and boundaries. He reached his fourth ODI fifty but was soon dismissed after hitting a six, caught at deep mid-wicket off Motie.

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Shardul Thakur and Ishan Kishan’s dismissals were followed by Rohit Sharma and Jadeja ensuring India’s victory, with Rohit sweeping Motie to seal the win in style.

For the West Indies, Yannic Cariah (1/35) and Gudakesh Motie (2/26) were the only standout bowlers on a day dominated by India. The hosts had lost seven wickets for just 26 runs in what was an extremely disappointing batting performance.

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