Belfast Telegraph

Kohli leads India near last four as the Windies' slim hopes are ended

 

By David Charlesworth

India moved to the brink of sealing their place in the World Cup semi-finals by ending the West Indies' lingering hopes at Old Trafford.

Virat Kohli's fourth successive half-century underpinned a total of 268 for seven, with Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni injecting some late impetus as 81 runs were taken from the final nine overs.

That proved to be more than enough on a used surface offering a hint of movement and appreciable turn as they claimed a 125-run win, with the Windies succumbing to 143 all out after 34.2 overs under glorious blue skies.

Jason Holder and Kemar Roach had shared five wickets but the Windies batsmen were found wanting, only three of their top eight reaching double figures, with Mohammed Shami the pick of India's bowlers with four for 16.

The Windies therefore join Afghanistan and South Africa with nothing but pride to play for in their remaining two fixtures while India, who went to the top of the ICC one-day international rankings yesterday morning, head into this Sunday's clash against England with their unbeaten record intact.

As against Afghanistan, India's batting was far from convincing but their pacemen and spinners made up for any shortfall as they moved up to second in the standings to the delight of the sea of blue in the crowd.

They set a testing total, one the Windies never got close to. Fresh from his hat-trick against Afghanistan, Shami delivered a blistering new-ball spell to account for Chris Gayle and Hope.

A 10-over score of 29 for two was a tournament low for the first powerplay and matters barely improved as they haemorrhaged wickets.

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