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India clinch series after Dhawan destroys Windies in Kanpur

November 27, 2013 17:02 IST

Shikhar Dhawan set the Green Park stadium in Kanpur alight as India beat the West Indies by five wickets in the final One-day International and clinched the three-match series 2-1 on Wednesday.

After restricting the visitors to 263 for 5, the dashing opener scored a breezy 119, off only 95 deliveries, as the home side overhauled the target with 23 balls to spare.

While Dhawan stole the limelight, registering his fifth ODI hundred in the process, Yuvraj Singh too delighted the crowd at the Green Park, which hosted an international game after nearly four years, with a 74-ball 55.

- Scorecard

It was a welcome return to form for Yuvraj, who cautiously put together 129 runs for the third wicket with Dhawan.

Earlier, the trio of Kieran Powell, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo struck half-centuries to guide the West Indies to a challenging total.

- Photos from the match

Powell (70) carried his good form from the last match and registered a second fifty in the series. Together with Samuels (71), he shared a 117-run second-wicket partnership to lay the foundation for the West Indies after they were put in to bat by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Towards the end, Darren Bravo (51 not out) and Darren Sammy (37 not out) played aggressively to take the team past the 260-run mark.

Shikhar DhawanComfortably placed at 137 for one at one stage, the West Indies looked set for a big score, but India staged a comeback with quick wickets to restrict them.

For the hosts, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers with figures of two for 45 from his quota of 10 overs.

Dhoni's decision to bowl first after winning the toss did not yield the desired result as his bowlers could pick just one wicket before Powell and Samuels joined hands to take the West Indies forward.

Opener Johnson Charles (11) failed yet again when Bhuvneshwar Kumar went through his defence in the fifth over with a perfect in-swinger leaving the West Indies at 20 for 1.

Thereafter, Powell and Samuels got together and played sensibly, mixing caution with aggression to stitch a century stand for the second wicket and lay the foundation for a big total.

Both Powell and Samuels were cautious in their approach as they brought up the West Indies fifty in 11.3 overs.

Both batsmen were content to see off the new ball in the morning. The duo kept rotating the strike with ones and twos and punished loose deliveries that came their way.

But once they set themselves in, both Powell and Samuels played freely and, in the process, brought up the 50-run stand off 53 balls.

Samuels finally opened up and welcomed off-spinner Ashwin with a huge six over long-on as the West Indies crossed the 100-run mark in 21.2 overs.

Powell was the aggressor as he reached his half-century off 66 balls with the help of six boundaries. Samuels, on the other hand, played second fiddle and took 73 balls to score his fifty.

But just when it seemed the duo might run away with the initiative, both Powell, who scored 59 in the last match, and Samuels once again threw their wickets away.

Powell and Samuels, who was dropped on 60 by Virat Kohli at slip off Ravindra Jadeja, failed to convert their fifties into three-figure scores as Ashwin brought India back into the match by dismissing both the set batsmen in a span of 37 balls.

Ashwin broke the dangerous-looking 177-run partnership when Powell gave a simple catch to Shikhar Dhawan at short fine-leg trying to sweep the off-spinner.

He scored 70 runs off 81 deliveries and struck nine boundaries in the process.

A few overs later, Ashwin was once again in the thick of things when he went through Samuels' defence by luring the batsman with a tossed up delivery.

Samuels, who made 71 off 93 balls, laced his innings with seven boundaries and one six. Darren Bravo, on the other hand, started in an attacking fashion and hit Ashwin for a four and six in consecutive balls.

West Indies decision to take the batting powerplay in the 35th over backfired as the visitors lost two key wickets scoring just 26 runs.

New-man in Lendl Simmons (13) too perished early in search of quick runs. He hit Jadeja for two boundaries in the 39th over before the left-arm spinner took his revenge when the batsman failed to negotiate extra bounce and edged one to Dhoni while going for a cut.

Skipper Dwayne Bravo (4) did not do his reputation any good either and holed out to Ashwin while going for his favourite extravagant lofted shot over extra cover off Mohammed Shami, as the West Indies slumped to 196 for five from a comfortable position.

But Darren Bravo and Sammy ensured a decent total for their bowlers to defend, stitching unbeaten 69 runs off 49 balls for the sixth wicket. They pair used the long handle to great effect.

India had a poor start despite though Dhawan made his intentions clear in just the second over of the innings when he clobbered Jason Holder thrice to the fence.

But Rohit Sharma departed in the fifth over with just 20 runs on the board. He offered a straight-forward catch to Dwayne Bravo at first slip while trying to push at an away-going delivery from Ravi Rampaul.

Virat Kohli looked in great touch during a brief 19-run stay but he too was undone by Rampaul's probing length outside the off-stump.

While trying to leave a delivery at the last moment, the ball just brushed Kohli's bat and went into the safe hands of wicketkeeper Johnson Charles.

But, from there on, it was a Dhawan-Yuvraj show as the duo went about their job in style, sharing a run-a-ball century partnership.

The hallmark of Dhawan's innings was his elegant drives through the extra cover region and short-arm pulls.

He sent the West Indies bowlers on a leather hunt and found the fence at will. He completely dominated the Caribbean attack and hit as many as 20 boundaries during his fiery knock.

By the time Yuvraj and Dhawan were out, India were assured of a series-clinching victory.

Yuvraj was caught by Dwayne Bravo at the slip off Sunil Narine in the 31st over but not before the left-hander completed a fifty, which was laced with seven fours.

Dhawan finally departed in the 38th over, caught by Dwayne Bravo off his own bowling, as the bat turned in his hand.

Dhoni (23 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (2 not out) completed the formalities.

Image: Shikhar Dhawan at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur

Photograph: BCCI