Shikhar Dhawan scored 97 while Shubham Gill played a scintillating 64 in his ODI comeback before India held their nerves to seal a three-run win over West Indies in the first match of the series. Openers Dhawan (97 off 99 balls) and Gill (64 off 53) shared a 119-run partnership before West Indies restricted India to 308 for seven. West Indies needed 15 runs in the final over to chase down the record at the Queens Park Oval, but Mohammad Siraj was able to stop Romario Shepherd (38 not out on 25).
Kyle Meyers (75 off 68) and Shamar Brooks (46 off 61) at the top of the order raised West Indies’ hopes with a 117-run stand for the second wicket. In the end, West Indies fell short and finished at 305 for six.
Shardul Thakur had earlier chased down the couple to bring India back into the game as he removed the pair of Meyers and Brooks.
The highly-rated Meyers played some brilliant strokes in his innings, including a one-legged pull shot from Siraj.
Captain Nicholas Pooran (25 off 26) came and punished the famous Krishna with two flat sixes over deep square leg and deep midwicket.
The hosts needed 60 runs from the last 90 balls and a 56-run stand between King and Aqeel Hossein (32 not out on 32) kept India on the edge. Yuzvendra Chahal, however, made a timely breakthrough to make the task difficult for West Indies.
The home team was chased by Shepherd and Hossein, whose brave partnership went in vain.
Earlier, Gill, playing his first ODI since December 2020, played some brilliant strokes while Dhawan took his time before switching gears.
Shreyas Iyer, who has faced his troubles of late with the short ball, was back in the middle of the run after scoring 54 off 57 balls.
The opening pair of Gill and Dhawan provided the launchpad for a total of over 350 before being run out in the 18th over.
Gill, one of the most attentive batsmen when he was in full flow, was very comfortable against the fast bowlers.
Gill slams Alzarri Joseph for a six before he amused the crowd with a perfectly placed punch for a boundary on the back foot. He was equally engaging in playing cover drives when the ball was pitched.
His innings included six fours and two sixes. West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran delivered a brilliant direct hit to dismiss him. It was Gill’s maiden ODI half-century which was his fourth match.
Dhawan, who plays only one format and had a lean run in England, carried his innings well and Gill came out strong at the other end. The southpaw smashed 10 fours and three sixes. His go-to shot was a slog sweep from left-arm spinner Gudakesh Moti.
Another left-arm spinner, Akil Hossein, impressed by swinging the ball quickly.
India were ready to score in excess of 350, but Dhawan’s seventh dismissal in the 90s led to a middle-order collapse, leaving the visitors to 252 for five from 213 for one.
Sanju Samson (12) missed a good chance to make an impact while Suryakumar Yadav (13) fell on a loose shot.
Deepak Hooda (27) and Axar Patel (21) put on a 42-run partnership for the sixth wicket to take India past 300.
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