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Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up three wickets, West Indies v India, West Indies tri-series, Port of Spain, July 5, 2013

Virat Kohli, in his second match as captain, smacked an 83-ball 102 to power India to a tall score against West Indies, but he said that earning a bonus point was more satisfying than his innings.


India were in a difficult position in the tri-series before the start of the match because they had lost their first two games – the second against Sri Lanka being one of their heaviest defeats – and needed to win this match to keep their chances afloat. India’s much-vaunted batting line-up had struggled for fluency at Sabina Park, but at Queen’s Park Oval the openers responded with a 123-run opening stand to set an ideal platform. Kohli, despite limited support from other middle-order batsmen, ensured it wasn’t wasted.


“We got a good start. It’s a bit of a tricky situation if you go in after a good start,” Kohli said. “You don’t know whether to play yourself in or go after the bowlers. To get a hundred in my second game as captain, I am pretty happy. I was getting good starts, but hitting that one shot straight to the fielder, so I was waiting for this big innings. But more than the hundred, I am happy we won with a bonus point.”


Darren Sammy credited Kohli for lifting India’s score beyond 300, but said that West Indies’ bowlers could have bowled better. The fast bowlers were expensive and even Sunil Narine wasn’t able to control the flow of runs, giving away 35 in his five overs.


“We have to give credit to Kohli and the Indians for the way they played. We did not bowl as well as we know we can,” Sammy said. “That is one area where we went wrong today. India played really well. They knew they had to come hard at us, to get a win and stay in the tournament, and they did just that.”


Chasing 312, West Indies lost Chris Gayle early to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who struck again in his next over to dismiss Darren Bravo. A rain disruption added to West Indies’ woes as the target was readjusted to 274 off 39 overs, but none of the West Indian batsmen stayed long enough to put up a challenge.

“The way Kohli played just goes to show what can happen when a set batsman stays in to the end of the innings,” Sammy said. “We had two very good innings in Jamaica when Chris [Gayle] got a hundred against Sri Lanka and [Johnson] Charles got 90 against India to win those two matches for us, but we did not get any real big partnerships going today.”


West Indies are still placed at the top of the table with nine points and need to win their next match against Sri Lanka to confirm their entry into the final.

“We are still very much in the tournament. Today we lost but there is need to panic,” Sammy said. “We are still at the top of the points table and we have all to play for when we face Sri Lanka on Sunday. We still believe we can win this tournament. We will regroup and look to bounce back when we meet Sri Lanka on Sunday and look to move into the final.”