Kochi: West Indies' poor run on their Indian tour continued as India thrashed them by six wickets in the first ODI in Kochi on Thursday evening. Needing to score 212 for a win, Virat Kohli slammed an 84-ball 86 in his 120th game to become the joint fastest with Vivian Richards to score 5000 ODI runs. In his bid to race to his 18th ODI ton, Kohli threw his wicket away but his nine fours and two sixes put India on the threshold of victory. India won with 14.4 overs to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Yuvraj Singh (16 not out) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13 not out) completed the formalities after India suffered a mini hiccup, losing Suresh Raina for zero. It was Rohit Sharma's 72 that set up India for an easy run chase after quickie Jason Holder sent Shikhar Dhawan back for five. Kohli and Sharma produced a 133-run second wicket partnership to take the stuffing out of the West Indian challenge. (Dhoni praises spinners)
Earlier, Raina took a career-best 3 for 34 and Ravindra Jadeja took 3 for 37 to wreck West Indies batting. Raina picked up wickets at regular intervals and Jadeja played perfect foil as West Indies were all out for 211 in 48.5 overs. Part-time off-spinner Raina bettered his previous best of 2/17 against West Indies in 2011 in Indore. (Kohli joint-fastest to 5000)
Opting to bat after winning the toss, West Indies lost Chris Gayle on the second ball of the day. The big Jamaican tried to steal a cheeky single after playing Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the off-side. But Kumar was quick and ran out Gayle at the non-striker's end. Gayle injured his hamstring and had to be stretchered off. He is doubtful for the rest of the series. (Raina, Jadeja spin West Indies out)
Gayle's dismissal started a slide of sorts as Darren Bravo fought a lone battle. The Brian Lara bat alike, Bravo, scored his 13th ODI fifty but failed to stitch a noteworthy stand as wickets kept falling at the other end. However, Bravo's 77-ball 59-run knock helped West Indies gain some sort of respectability. His innings was ended by a Mohammad Shami delivery that kept low and knocked off the off stump. Opener Johnson Charles scored a polished 42 but was caught and bowled by Jadeja on a slow Nehru Stadium wicket that afforded a lot of turn. (Gayle may miss rest of series)