Guwahati, October 21
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma hit destructive centuries and combined in a 246-run stand to help India chase down a difficult target against West Indies for a convincing eight-wicket victory in the opening ODI here today. Shimron Hetmyer struck his third ODI hundred in just his 13th match to help West Indies to 322/8 after India captain Kohli had won the toss and put the touring side in to bat. The target appeared steep when India lost opener Shikhar Dhawan in the second over but Kohli and Sharma took the West Indies bowling to the cleaners, with the hosts reaching the mark with 47 deliveries to spare.
India had won both their Test matches against West Indies inside three days, and if the touring side had been hoping for a change in fortune in the shorter format, the Indian captain and his deputy didn’t take long to crush their hopes. While Kohli hit a masterful 140 off 107 deliveries for his 36th hundred in the 50-over format, Sharma remained unbeaten on a 117-ball 152, his 20th ODI ton.
The Caribbean fast bowlers and spinners were treated with equal disdain by the 29-year-old Kohli, who smashed 21 fours and two sixes during his classy knock. India’s batting mainstay was finally out when leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo got one to turn past Kohli’s bat with wicketkeeper Shai Hope completing a smart stumping.
Rohit gets going
Sharma took his time to settle down after his opening partner Dhawan fell for four to debutant fast bowler Oshane Thomas. The right-handed batsman, who boasts three double hundreds in the format, grew in confidence as he spent time at the crease and cleared the boundary rope with ease when he looked to attack, hitting 15 boundaries and eight sixes, the last of which brought up India’s victory.