Opener Shikhar Dhawan led India's chase of 264 against West Indies with a sensational century to help the hosts to a commanding win at Green Park, Kanpur. In his customary fashion, Dhawan's century came off just 73 deliveries and included 18 sweetly-timed fours. Interestingly, Dhawan's first 24 runs all came off boundaries. It is Dhawan's 5th ton in one-day international cricket to go with his five half-centuries. It is also the 27-year-old's first fifty-plus score in his last five ODI innings.
Before the Kanpur ODI, Dhawan had played 27 ODIs and scored 1100 runs with 116 as his best. With a strike-rate of almost 92, the left-hander has solved India's opening problems alongside Rohit Sharma. The duo were instrumental in India winning the ICC Champions Trophy in June this year. Dhawan is the first batsmen in the world to score five ODI centuries this year.
After electing to bowl, Ravichandran Ashwin's two wickets and economical figures ensured that West Indies could post only 263 for five in their 50 overs. Kieran Powell, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo hit half-centuries for the visitors.
However, India's chase did not get off to the best start after Rohit Sharma (5) edged a Ravi Rampaul delivery to Dwayne Bravo at first slip. Rampaul dismissed Virat Kohli as well when the in-form batsman nicked a delivery to the wicketkeeper Johnson Charles. At that stage, India were in a spot of bother at 61/2.
However Dhawan, along with Yuvraj Singh (50 not out, 51st ODI half-century, fifth versus West Indies), added 120 runs for the third wicket, to put India on course for victory.