Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma scored half-centuries as India defeated West Indies in the 3rd ODI encounter in Cuttack on Sunday to clinch the three-match series 2-1. Rohit and Rahul provided the hosts a brilliant start in the run chase as they stitched together a 122-run partnership for the opening wicket and Kohli clinched the game for them with an 81-ball-85. With 30 runs needed from five overs, Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur kept their calm to guide India to victory with eight balls to spare in the thrilling encounter.
Chasing a mammoth target of 316, Rohit (63) and Rahul (77) looked comfortable against the West Indies bowlers and their partnership was exactly what the doctor ordered for the hosts. However, after Rohit's dismissal in the 22nd over, India lost wickets in a heap with Keemo Paul taking two and Alzarri Joseph claiming one victim.
The run rate did suffer a bit because of the fall of wickets but that did not bother Virat Kohli who looked dominant as ever. With nine fours, he carefully constructed his innings and his 58-run stand with Jadeja took India close to victory. But, there was still a twist left in the tale as Kohli was dismissed by Keemo Paul in the 47th over.
Jadeja (39*) and Thakur (17*) did not let the pressure get the better of them and thanks to some brilliant hits towards the end, they were able to clinch the encounter and the series for the Indian cricket team.
Earlier in the day, Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard slammed attacking half-centuries to power West Indies to 315 for five in 50 overs. Pooran, who hit 89 off 63 balls, and Pollard, 74 not out, put on 135 runs for the fifth wicket as the West Indies put up a challenging total after being in trouble at 144 for four in Cuttack.
The left-right batting pair of Pooran and Pollard, who hit three fours and seven sixes in his 51-ball blitz, combined to rebuild the innings and then took the attack to the opposition bowlers. Navdeep Saini claimed two wickets after being handed his ODI cap by skipper Virat Kohli who won the toss and elected to bowl.