Swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag today created history by scoring the highest-ever ODI score of 219 as a merciless India clinched the ODI series against West Indies with a convincing 153-run win in the fourth cricket one-dayer to take an unssailable 3-1 lead.
The 33-year-old Sehwag was at his explosive best as he became only the second batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to reach the 200-run landmark in ODIs and propel India to their highest ever one-day total of 418 for five.
The hosts then dismissed the West Indians for 265 in 49.2 overs to wrap up the five-match series in style, rendering the fifth match in Chennai on Sunday, inconsequential. Debutant spinner Rahul Sharma was the pick of the Indian bowlers with three for 43.
Electing to bat, it was Sehwag who took centrestage with a stunning exhibition of strokeplay as he plundered runs at will on a belter of a track at the jam-packed Holkar stadium. Sehwag surpassed Tendulkar’s 200 not out made from 147 balls against South Africa in Gwalior on February 24 last year when he square-cut Andre Russell for a boundary in the 44th over of the Indian innings to go past the 200 mark. He joined his idol Tendulkar in the record books as the only other cricketer to score double hundred in the limited overs game.
The Delhi marauder, who cracked his second three-figure knock against West Indies and 15th overall in 240 ODI matches, slammed as many as 25 fours and seven sixes during his 149-ball blitz.
He also reached his double hundred in fewer balls (in 140 balls with the help of 23 fours and six sixes) than Tendulkar, who took 147 deliveries for his unbeaten 200. Gautam Gambhir (67) and Suresh Raina (55) were the other notable performers for India, who managed to eclipse their previous highest total of 414 for 7 against Sri Lanka at Rajkot in 2009.
Weighed down by the mammoth total, the inexperienced West Indies batting line-up were never in the running to successfully chase down the total. Save wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin, who took advantage of an attacking field to score a run-a-ball 96, the other West Indies batsmen didn’t put up any resistance. In fact the last wicket pair of Ramdin and Sunil Narine (27, 33 balls, 3×4, 1×6) added 64 runs in only 10.3 overs to reduce the margin of victory.
Top-order batsmen Lendl Simmons (36), Marlon Samuels (33) and all-rounder Andre Russell (29) got the starts but could not translate them into big knocks. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (3/34), debutant Sharma and part-time offie Raina (2/17) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1/59) accounted for nine among the 10 wickets.
The find of IPL Sharma, who has been touring with the side for nearly past two months was preferred over Irfan Pathan, completely foxed the visiting team after Sehwag’s murderous assault had already demoralised them.
With his fast leg breaks and top-spinners, 25-year-old Jalandhar-born Sharma completely mesmerised the clueless Caribbean batsmen to strike three big blows in his first three overs. Introduced into the attack in the 12th over, he bought wickets off the last deliveries of that particular over, as well as the 14th and 16th respectively to reduce Windies to 100 for 5.
Source: Daily Bhaskar