India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five match ODI series against the West Indies, beating the Carribean side by 93 runs in another one sided encounter in Antigua. Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav outfoxed the West Indies batting to bowl them out for 158 chasing a target of 252, with Ashwin finishing with figures of 3 for 28. Earlier in the day, the West Indies bowlers kept the much touted Indian batting in check, at one point restricting them to 150 inside of 40 overs. However, Dhoni’s 78 and a quick fire 40 from Kedhar Jadhav pushed the visitors’ score to 250, after yet another half century from Ajinkya Rahane who continues to make his case for a permanent place in the ODI side. India lost two quick wickets in the first ten overs of the match,with both Dhawan and Kohli falling cheaply. Yuvraj Singh scored 39 and took India to an even hundred before falling to Devendra Bishoo, in another lacklustre innings. The spinners throttled the flow of runs for the Indians, even though Dhoni and Rahane made sure that there were no more wickets for the Windies bowlers. After the pressure started to mount when India scraped past the 150 mark around the 40th over, it was former skipper Dhoni who stepped on the accelerator. Rahane fell in the 42nd over, and it fell to Dhoni and Jadhav to give India the final push. Jadhav made a useful 40 in 26 balls with 4 fours and a six, and Dhoni himself went on the attack to take India to a defendable 251 in 50 overs. Although it wasn’t a dominating batting performance like the last match, the score looked competitive given the dicey nature of the pitch that had variable bounce making it hard to bat at ease.
West Indies did not begin their chase well, losing Evin Lewis in the second over when he was bowled by Umesh Yadav in a brilliant stretch of pace bowling. The Windies could not hold out against the Indian bowlers, losing wickets at regular intervals and were down in the doldrums by the twentieth over when they were 87-5. Jason Mohammed and Rovman Powell held out for the sixth wicket, but Powell fell for 30 to Kuldeep Yadav as the spinners made it hard for the bowlers to stay long. Yadav also removed Mohammed as he finished the match with three wickets, same as Ashwin who was the one who bowled out the middle order. Eventually, the West Indies were bowled out for 158 in 38 overs chasing a score that was gettable, and would have made for quite an upset if they had batted well.
The match was Ashwin’s as much as it was Dhoni’s, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his patient 78. India play the fourth ODI agains the Windies on July 2.