Indian players celebrate with the trophy after winning the third ODI and series against West Indies in Cuttack on Sunday. Associated Press
Skipper Virat Kohli smashed 85 to help India pull off a nervous chase of 316 to win the third one-day international by four wickets against West Indies and clinch the series on Sunday.
India relied on a key 58-run sixth-wicket stand between Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja, unbeaten on 39 off 31 balls, to achieve their target with eight balls to spare in Cuttack.
Paceman Keemo Paul claimed three wickets, including that of Kohli in the 47th over, before Jadeja and Shardul Thakur, 17 not out, took the team home and win the series 2-1.
Rohit Sharma, who made 63, and KL Rahul, on 77, laid the foundation of the team’s chase with their opening partnership of 122 after the West Indies posted 315 for five.
West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran put together 135 runs for the fifth wicket to lift their side from 144 for four to a fighting total.
Pollard remained unbeaten on 74 off 51 deliveries after Pooran hit an attacking 89 to pulverise the Indian bowling in the last 10 overs that got West Indies 118 runs.
In response Kohli, who made India bowl first after winning the toss, batted with conviction despite wickets falling from the other end to make the second-ranked ODI side finish the year on a high.
Jason Holder got Sharma caught behind and Alzarri Joseph sent Rahul trudging back to the pavilion after his second successive score of 50 plus.
But Kohli kept up the attack during his 81-ball knock despite wickets falling at the other end before chopping a wide delivery on the off side onto his stumps.
Thakur then hit two fours and a six to bring the packed house back to life as he celebrated the win with Jadeja.
India paceman Navdeep Saini claimed two wickets after being handed his ODI cap by Kohli.
The 27-year-old Saini got his maiden ODI wicket after sending the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer back to the pavilion for 37.
But Pooran counter attacked and completed his fifty with a six off left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
He hit 10 fours and three sixes in his knock that lasted 64 balls before falling to Shardul Thakur with a mistimed hit to deep point.
India will next host Sri Lanka for a three-match Twenty20 series starting January 5. Australia will also travel to India for three ODI matches starting January 14.
Meanwhile, as India batsman Rohit achieved another batting milestone of becoming the leading run scorer in a calendar year in all formats of cricket, Twitter fans hailed the batting ace.
As the batting ace hit the milestone during the third and final India vs West Indies ODI here, the Board of Control of Cricket in India posted on @BCCI: “Milestone -- Rohit Sharma surpasses Sanath Jayasuriya as the leading run scorer in a calendar year across formats.”
It got 685 retweets 3.6K likes, as fans praised him in glowing terms.
“Terrific milestone for Hitman,” wrote one fan.
Replying to @BCCI and @ImRo45, one fan said that Rohit Sharma had amassed 2388* in 2019, most international runs in a calendar year as an opener.
Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya totalled 2,387 runs in 1997 whereas Virender Sehwag amassed 2,355 in 2008.
E Lewis c Saini b Jadeja 21
S Hope b Shami 42
R Chase b Saini 38
S Hetmyer c Yadav b Saini 37
N Pooran c Jadeja b Thakur 89
K Pollard not out 74
J Holder not out 7
Total (5 wickets, 50 overs) 315
Bowling: Thakur 10-0-66-1 (w2), Shami 10-2-66-1, Saini 10-0-58-2 (w1), Yadav 10-0-67-0, Jadeja 10-0-54-1
India (target 316)
R Sharma c Hope b Holder 63
KL Rahul c Hope b Joseph 77
V Kohli b Paul 85
S Iyer c Joseph b Paul 7
R Pant b Paul 7
K Jadhav b Cottrell 9
R Jadeja not out 39
S Thakur not out 17
Total (6 wickets, 48.4 overs) 316
Bowling: Cottrell 10-1-74-1 (w7), Holder 10-0-63-1, Paul 9.4-0-59-3 (nb1), Chase 4-0-19-0, Pierre 7-0-46-0, Joseph 8-0-53-1 (w2)
Result: India won by four wickets
Series: India won the three-match series 2-1