Tue, Oct 23, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Kohli lauds partnership with Sharma

AFP, GUWAHATI, India

India batsman Rohit Sharma plays a shot against the West Indies in the first one-day international in Guwahati, India, on Sunday.

Photo: AP

Skipper Virat Kohli on Sunday hailed his partnership with Rohit Sharma after the pair hit centuries to lead India’s eight-wicket demolition of the West Indies in the first one-day international in Guwahati.

Kohli, who made 140, and Sharma, who remained unbeaten on 152, put on 246 runs for the second wicket as the hosts chased down 323 and romped home with 47 balls to spare.

India, who swept the two-Test series against the tourists, lead the five-match series 1-0.

“Feels pretty good. A convincing win. I thought West Indies were really good with the bat and 320-plus totals are always tricky, but we knew it’s all about one partnership and life isn’t difficult when Rohit is at the other end,” Kohli said. “It’s our fifth or sixth double-century partnership, it’s a pleasure to bat with him.”

The effort from Kohli and Sharma easily overshadowed a dominant 106 by West Indies batsman Shermon Hetmyer in his team’s 322-8 after being put into bat.

In reply, India lost opener Shikhar Dhawan in just the second over of the innings after he was bowled by debutant paceman Oshane Thomas.

Kohli then took charge with Sharma, who was happy playing second fiddle to his in-form captain, as the duo put on India’s biggest-ever one-day stand against the West Indies for any wicket.

The skipper built on his quickfire half-century to get his 36th one-day ton in just 88 deliveries, hitting Kemar Roach for a four to make the three-figure mark amid loud cheers from a packed home crowd.

Sharma, who was relatively quiet until his captain reached 100, soon got cracking and reached his century with a four off spinner Ashley Nurse.

The two marauding batsmen started to toy with the opposition bowlers before Devendra Bishoo got Kohli stumped against the run of play.

Sharma went on to hit the winning six with Ambati Rayudu, who finished the innings unbeaten on 22, at the other end.

The West Indies had their moments when Hetmyer smashed six fours and six sixes during his 78-ball knock to give his side what looked like a competitive total.

“Pleased with the guys for the batting effort. Hetmyer batted exceptionally well,” skipper Jason Holder said. “We could have got a bit more had he carried on for five, six more overs, but this is a young team and we will learn.”

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