Calm Dhoni steers nervy India home

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Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Defending champions India sealed their place in the World Cup knockout stages with a nervy run chase against West Indies in Perth.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni helped to steer his team to a four-wicket victory in a low-scoring Pool B match.

India, who bowled the Windies out for 182, therefore remain one of two unbeaten teams in the tournament – co-hosts New Zealand are the other – after scrambling the verdict with 10.5 overs to spare on a typically bouncy pitch at the WACA.

West Indies were hapless in the first 10 overs, after winning the toss on a glorious afternoon, and might have been bowled out even more cheaply but for four dropped catches by India and captain Jason Holder’s second successive half-century from number nine.

Dwayne Smith struggled badly against India’s new-ball pair, eventually edging behind off Mohammad Shami (three for 35).

Chris Gayle was out of sorts too, dropped twice and then holing out to a mis-pull off Shami – but not before a mix-up with Marlon Samuels saw the Windies number three run out for just two.

Captain Denesh Ramdin could not halt the slide, aiming an expansive cover-drive to a swinging low full-toss first ball and instead edging on to Umesh Yadav.

Lendl Simmons and Jonathan Carter almost doubled the score until the former fell pulling Mohit Sharma to deep backward-square.

Darren Sammy was dropped by Ravindra Jadeja on five, when he mistimed a skier into the off-side ring off Mohit.

Andre Russell was soon gone instead, hitting Jadeja’s first ball straight to long-off.

But Sammy stayed long enough to help Holder (57) shepherd the Windies into powerplay, before he was caught-behind off the returning Shami.

The captain struck four fours and three sixes from 64 balls but was last out, another hitting Jadeja to long-off, with almost six overs unused.

Two wickets in an impressive new-ball spell from Jerome Taylor gave the Windies renewed hope, both openers going as Shikhar Dhawan was caught at second slip and Rohit Sharma edged an attempted drive behind.

Virat Kohli threatened to shorten the chase until he hooked Russell into the hands of Samuels – and when Ajinkya Rahane went to a marginal DRS verdict, caught-behind off Kemar Roach, India had lost four wickets with more than 100 runs still needed.

Suresh Raina struggled against the short ball before edging a cut behind off Smith’s medium-pace, and the same tactic from Russell saw Jadeja pull Russell to a juggling Samuels.

But Dhoni engineered an unbroken match-winning half-century stand with Ravi Ashwin and finished top-scorer with 45 not out in a curious contest which contained 47 extras.

Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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