Hyderabad: After an emphatic 107-run win in Vizag, it was time for the decider in Cuttack as India and West Indies played the third and final ODI of the series on Sunday.
India won the toss and elected to bowl, backed by their chasing abilities. Windies batsmen Shai Hope and Evin Lewis walked in to bat.
It was a steady start for the Men in Maroon as the opening duo built a partnership of 57 until Evin Lewis hit Ravindra Jadeja straight up in the air and was caught by debutant Navdeep Saini for 21.
Roston Chase and Shai Hope kept moving the scoreboard forward until Shami disturbed Hope’s furniture by cleaning him up for 42. The Windies carried on their fight but lost wickets and were down to 144-4.
Skipper Pollard and Nicholas Pooran held the innings together and stitched a crucial 135-run partnership. While Pooran got out for a well-made 89, Pollard finished the Windies innings at 315/5, staying unbeaten on 74.
India had a big target of 316 to chase and win the series. KL Rahul & Rohit Sharma made it look easy by adding 122 runs for the first wicket and keeping the run rate in check. They also became the pair to score the highest partnership runs in 2019 with 988 runs in 11 matches which included 5 century and 2 half-century stands.
KL Rahul fell for 77 with India on 167/2. Shreyas Iyer’s streak of consecutive fifties ended this time as he got out for 7. Rishabh Pant couldn’t contribute much to the team’s total and he left the crease after scoring 7. It was like a flurry of wickets for India after Windies sent Kedar Jadhav back for 9. The score was 228/5.
Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli then anchored the chase by sneaking the odd boundary every over until Kohli played Keemo Paul onto the stumps and got out for a well-made 85.
Shardul Thakur then played an unbelievable cameo of 17*(6) to seal the win and the series for India, in Cuttack by 6 wickets.
India ended the year on a high with yet another series win as Kohli once again topped the list of the highest run-scorer with 2,455 runs in all the three formats. Rohit Sharma was second in the list with 2,442 runs, which is the highest by any opener in a calendar year.
Rohit Sharma also became the highest run-scorer in ODIs in 2019 with 1,490 runs. Kohli was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 85, while Rohit took the Man of the Series trophy for scoring 258 runs in 3 matches which included a century and a half-century.
India will now play 3 T20Is against Sri Lanka beginning January 6 in Guwahati.