Chennai: A maiden century from Kieron Pollard went in vain as India registered a 34-run victory over West Indies in the fifth and final ODI to wrap up the series 4-1 on Sunday.
Hosts India won the toss and chose to bat in Chennai, where they posted 6-267 in their 50 overs. The West Indies could only reach 233 all out in reply, as India sealed victory with five overs to spare.
Manoj Tiwary grabbed the spotlight in the match with his first ODI century. Making his sixth appearance for India in a 50-over contest, Tiwary made 104 not out before retiring with cramp in the sweltering conditions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The 26-year-old had helped to steady the home side’s innings after they lost opener Ajinkya Rahane and first drop Parthiv Patel to ducks inside the first over.
Kemar Roach (2-46) was the man to strike for the West Indies, and the early blows left India 2-1 after just three balls.
Gautam Gambhir rallied with 31 runs alongside Tiwary, helping his side to 84 before he fell lbw to Anthony Martin (2-47). Tiwary then teamed up with Virat Kohli (80) and the pair put on 117 vital runs, before the newcomer was forced to withdraw.
Kohli was the next to depart, caught by Marlon Samuels at long on from the bowling of Martin. Cameos from Rohit Sharma (21) and Suresh Raina (16 not out) helped to add late runs, but a less-than-convincing total left the door open for the West Indies to challenge.
The tourists’ hopes of a determined run chase suffered an immediate blow, as they lost Lendl Simmons to a first-ball duck, with Irfan Pathan (2-42) claiming the scalp.
The rest of the top order fared little better, as Kieran Powell (15), Samuels (six) and debutant Jason Mohammed (two) all failed to make an impression.
The loss of Denesh Ramdin for 14 left the West Indies on 5-78 and seemingly on course for a swift demise. Pollard rallied the cause with a quick-fire 119 runs from 140 balls, and he received valuable support from Andre Russell (53).
The pair made 89 runs for the sixth wicket, before Russell was run out by Gambhir’s sharp fielding.
While Pollard and Russell had done well to keep the contest alive, the West Indies soon began to run out of wickets and overs. None of Darren Sammy (three), Sunil Narine (eight ) or Kemar Roach (0) provided meaningful assistance to Pollard.
Fittingly, the all-rounder was the final wicket to fall, with Rahane taking a catch at long on from Raina’s delivery.
Ravindra Jadeja led the wicket-takers for India (3-62), while Abhimanyu Mithun and Pathan had two apiece.
Result: India won by 34 runs.
Man Of The Match: Manoj Tiwari (India).
Winner Of The Series: India by 4-1.
Man Of The Series: Rohit Sharma (India).
HQ Photo Gallery: Coming Soon.
Comments from both captains, man of the match and man of the series:
Darren Sammy (Captain of West Indies): ”Congratulations to Pollard on his first one-day hundred. It was really good to watch. We have been paying some good cricket, we have been fighting throughout, but unfortunately we are not finishing things off. Everybody expected us to roll over, we didn’t. The attitude was good to see. I’d like to congratulate the boys on the effort, the way they supported me in the tough series. We can only move forward from here. Congratulations to Sehwag and his team, we can hold our heads up.”
Virender Sehwag (Captain of India): ”Satisfied with the young team. Especially with the young fielding and bowling unit. They were all eager to play. I asked everybody can you take a break, they said no, so I had to take the break. Good to see Manoj come in and score the century. It’s a good end to the season. Beating England 5-0 and West Indies 4-1.”
Manoj Tiwari (Man Of The Match): ”I enjoyed it. It wasn’t coming onto the bat, it made my game easier. Generally I play spin retty well, so I made sure I took advantage of the loose balls. I have to say that the team management have backed me really well, and made me comfortable in the dressing room. I didn’t hydrate enough before the match, that is my mistake. I want to dedicate the award to all the people who died in the Calcutta Hospital tragedy.”
Rohit Sharma (Man Of The Series): ”I didn’t want to think about the past. Whatever has happened has happened. It was a new beginning, I analysed my game, I rectified the mistakes. Hopefully it won’t be repeated. It [the injury in England] was frustrating. I was in good form from WI, and wanted to carry on. Hopefully no more injuries. Touch wood, I will be playing for a long long time. I have been watching closely MS Dhoni and Yuvraj bat with the tail and finish matches off, so I have learned from them.”