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In first

Century-making Shikhar Dhawan smashing a six over third man.

Century-making Shikhar Dhawan smashing a six over third man.

Rising Indian star Shikhar Dhawan scored his second century on the trot, an unbeaten 102 off 107 balls, while Ravindra Jadeja picked up his maiden five wicket haul, 5 for 36, to help India defeat West Indies by eight wickets at the Oval today and become the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy.

Rising Indian star Shikhar Dhawan scored his second century on the trot, an unbeaten 102 off 107 balls, while Ravindra Jadeja picked up his maiden five wicket haul, 5 for 36, to help India defeat West Indies by eight wickets at the Oval today and become the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy.

India’s win also meant that Pakistan have been knocked out of the tournament with one more match against India to be played. Following a good knock from opener Johnson Charles (60), West Indies had a middle order collapse before Darren Sammy blasted a quick-fire 56 not-out to lift the West Indies to 233 for 9.

The total though was not sufficient as a 127-run opening stand between Dhawan and Rohit Sharma (52) and an unbeaten 109-run stand for the third wicket between Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik (51 not out) helped India to victory with 10.5 overs to spare.

India captain MS Dhoni won the toss and inserted the West Indies. Chris Gayle showed ominous signs by starting off with a flurry of boundaries to get West Indies going. Swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the only one who was able to keep Gayle quiet, bowling a couple of tight overs at him and it was he who eventually dismissed him. After powerfully dispatching Kumar for a four straight over the bowler’s head, Gayle on 21 tried to punch a good length delivery that was too close to his body and ended up edging it wide of first slip to see Ravichandran Ashwin hold on to a sharp overhead catch.

With Gayle back in the hut, West Indies needed somebody to take up his role and Johnson Charles was the man for the job as he got going with a barrage of boundaries. Having hit Kumar for two consecutive fours in the ninth over, Charles hit Umesh Yadav three times to the fence in the 10th over to help West Indies past fifty.

Darren Bravo, who came in at number three, was having a very slow outing but the right handed opener made up for that, doing the bulk of the scoring to bring up a fifty-run stand in the 13th over. Three overs later, Charles carved Virat Kohli for a six over cover before bringing up his third fifty-plus score in ODIs with a single to long on in the same over.

India would have heaved a sigh of relief when they saw the back of Gayle but Charles’ knock completely took them by surprise. He continued in his attacking ways as he dispatched Ashwin wide of long on for a maximum to power West Indies past the 100 mark in the 19th over.

The moment of respite the Indians were hoping for finally came when Jadeja struck in his second over to trap the opener in front – trying to work to the on side. Marlon Samuels was the next man in and he spent very little time at the crease as Jadeja struck again, getting him out leg-before. Umpire Aleem Dar, thinking that the batsman had got some bat, initially ruled in favour of Samuels. However, India decided to refer the decision and with replays suggesting that it was pad first, Samuels had to head back on 1.

Another wicket soon went down for the Windies as Jadeja struck for a third time in the space of three overs, to get rid of the under-performing Ramnaresh Sarwan. The right hander trying to flick the left-handed spinner to fine leg, was caught down the leg-side by Dhoni to depart on 1 and leave the West Indies 114 for 4 at the half-way stage.


Beaten by the turn


Bravo was joined by older brother Dwayne and they tried to resurrect the West Indies innings. The former though was struggling to get a move on, having consumed quite a lot of dot deliveries. His slow outing came to an end when he was out stumped to Ashwin for 35 off 83 balls. Jumping down the track, Darren failed to get to the pitch of the ball and was beaten by the turn. Kieron Pollard was next in and after a cautious start he upped the ante with back-to-back sixes off Ashwin in the first over of the batting powerplay. But West Indies then lost Dwayne Bravo for 25, caught at deep mid-wicket by Jadeja off an innocuous ball from Yadav.

West Indies’ scoring then came to a crawl with a mere 24 runs coming between the 36th and 40th overs. Ishant Sharma then accounted for Pollard off a poor shot to Kumar at long-on for 22. Jadeja then accepted the gifted wickets of Sunil Narine (2) caught in the deep off a lofted shot and Ravi Rampaul (2) bowled attempting a sweep.

Jadeja became the first Indian bowler to pick up a five wicket haul at The Oval and also became the first Indian with such a haul in the Champions Trophy.

With West Indies just a wicket away from being bowled out, the onus was on Sammy to score as many as possible in the death and the former Windies skipper did not disappoint in partnership with Kemar Roach. With a point to prove after being dropped in the previous match, Sammy unleashed a volley of big hits as he powered West Indies towards a fighting score. His first big shot came in the 47th over when he hit Yadav straight down the ground for a maximum. While he could manage only one boundary off Jadeja in the next over, the 49th over was the best one for the Windies as Sammy smashed Ishant for two sixes and two fours in a over that yielded 21 runs.

Having retained the strike for the final over, Sammy smashed Jadeja for two fours and a six to register his fifth ODI fifty. The 10th wicket stand was worth 51 runs and came entirely off Sammy’s bat, the only occasion when a batsman scored all the runs in a 50-plus partnership for the last wicket.

To get back in the game West Indies were required to bowl tight lines and also take quick early wickets. They did neither as runs flowed easily from the bats of openers Sharma and Dhawan who plundered the attack.

West Indies had a chance to send back Dhawan when he top-edged a pull off Dwayne Bravo on 41 but Roach made a total mess of it running in from third man. Only Narine made any impression with the ball and got the wicket of Sharma caught smartly by Charles down the leg-side.

The initial ruling was in favour of the batsman and the Windies skipper opted for the review. The hot-spot showed a faint nick and umpire Tony Hill had to reverse his decision.

Narine also accounted for Kohli bowled on the back-foot for 22.

A brief shower stalled the inevitable and India eventually reached their target when Karthik also got to his 6th ODI fifty with a stylish four off Pollard. Dhawan had similarly brought up his century with authority when he clobbered Bravo for six over the square-leg boundary.

West Indies next meet South Africa on Friday and a victory for either will see them through to the semi-finals.

Jadeja was named Man-of-the-Match.

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