x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Morton leads West Indies to emphatic win

An unbeaten 85 from Runako Morton guides West Indies to a convincing eight-wicket victory over India to tie the four-match one-day series at 1-1.

KINGSTON // An unbeaten 85 from Runako Morton guided West Indies to a convincing eight-wicket victory over India to tie the four-match one-day series at 1-1 on Sunday. India made a modest 188 after a patient 95 from skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni rescued them from 82 for eight, the West Indies seamer Ravi Rampaul responding to his recall with impressive figures of four for 37. But the West Indies won with over 15 overs to spare as Morton and captain Chris Gayle made a thundering start by leading their side to 69 without loss in the first 10 overs.

Left-hander Gayle bludgeoned 64 in 46 balls, including eight fours and two sixes, before he fell to a superb diving catch on the boundary from Gautam Gambhir off the spinner Rohit Sharma to end the partnership at 101. Although Sharma had Ramnaresh Sarwan stumped for 15, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (18 not out) joined Morton to seal victory with more than 15 overs to spare. Morton clinched the win by blasting Harbhajan Singh for a huge six over mid-on.

The West Indies seamers did the damage with Dwayne Bravo and Jerome Taylor taking three wickets each along with Rampaul's four. The match was in marked contrast to the opening game of the series on the same wicket when India won by 20 runs after 658 runs were scored. India were always struggling after Rampaul and Taylor produced a devastating opening spell to have the tourists reeling at seven for three.

Yuvraj Singh, a century-maker in Friday's first ODI won by India, struck a sprightly 35 from 33 balls but his departure when caught behind by Ramdin off Taylor prompted a second slump. The outswing generated by Rampaul and Taylor was the key factor and the first eight wickets in the India innings were all caught by either wicketkeeper or the slip cordon. "I don't think there was that much in it for the bowlers, they bowled really well, they were swinging the ball well and it when it stopped swinging they were able to get reverse swing," Dhoni said.

"I think it was a good wicket. Before we knew it we had three down. Once you are in that situation you are just playing catch-up," he said. The series continues in St Lucia on Friday and Sunday. *Reuters