ICC Cricket World Cup is getting interested with every passing day keeping fans on their toes. Another such clash was set to take place in the city of Manchester at the Old Trafford cricket ground between the unbeaten India and the struggling West Indies. India were very comfortably sitting on the 3rd position while it was a must win game for the West Indies who were on the 8th position.
Clear sky, bright sun, distant clouds, loud fans and a jam packed stadium all pointed towards a cracking game. Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul came out in the middle to open the innings. Kemar Roach right from the start kept bowling Rohit Sharma the teasing length which forced him to play and Hope caught him behind the stumps cleanly. Virat Kohli stepped in and played his usual innings while Rahul assisted him extremely well. Jason Holder came in to provide a breakthrough and with an amazing delivery bowled Rahul. Shankar was the next man but once again failed to live up to the expectation and was caught behind cheaply. Jadhav was sent in ahead of MS Dhoni to provide stability to Indian batting but he was also dismissed by Roach and India looked shaky with 140-4. MS Dhoni then joined Kohli who completed his 50 soon after and the pair provided much needed solidity. Dhoni played his classic style of keeping calm while Kohli looked for gaps and boundaries. Kohli after a blistering 72 was caught in the deep which allowed Pandya to come who went big right away. Pandya scored a wonderful 46 off 38 while Dhoni remained unbeaten after a crucial 56 as India were able to pull off 268 runs.
West Indies came out to chase a tricky total which could take the match either way at any point of time. Power hitter Gayle, alongside newbie Ambris were up against the Indian attack and it was not an ideal start for West Indians when Gayle plunged early on in Shami’s over. Shai Hope was the next man but he also fell to Shami’s extraordinary delivery. Pooran tried to pull West Indies out of misery and alongside Ambris provided a 55 run coalition but Pandya broke the partnership by picking up Ambris. Hetmyer was the next batsman but India kept pressurizing and picked Pooran and Holder in quick succession to steal the game away from the West Indies. The man of crisis Brathwaite was removed by Bumrah on 1 as India took the driving seat. The tail couldn’t excite much after that and West Indies packed their bags on 143. Mohammad Shami was the key bowler picking up 4 wickets again. For his incredible innings Virat Kohli was announced the Player of the Match. West Indies after this loss was ruled out from the semi final spot while India move up to no. 2 in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 points table.