West Indies put behind an acrimonious pay dispute with their Board to spank number one ranked India by a huge margin of 124 runs in the first one-dayer to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series here on Wednesday. (Scorecard | Highlights)
The Caribbeans, who were on the verge of boycotting the ODI, rode on Marlon Samuels' career-best equalling 126 not out to post 321 for six and then shot out the Indians for 197 in 41 overs in a rather one-sided contest at the Nehru Stadium.
India paid the price for some mediocre bowling and shoddy batting as they were outplayed by the crisis-hit visiting team in all departments of the game to suffer a heavy defeat.
Indian bowlers gave away too many runs at the second part of West Indies innings to allow the visitors pile up a big total after being put into bat and then the much-vaunted home batsmen, except for Shikhar Dhawan (68), failed to fire on a batting pitch.
Most of Indian batsmen were out on poor shot selection and they could not stitch any substantial partnership in the face of some tight bowling by the visiting bowlers, the highest being the 49 in 8.4 overs for the opening wicket between Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane (24). Dhawan's scratchy 68 came from 92 balls with the help of nine fours.
Ravindra Jadeja (33 not out) was the other Indian batsman who scored more than 20 runs.
West Indies, even without their mystery spinner Sunil Narine, could tie down the top Indian batsmen who failed to get the runs when required.
Chasing a huge target of 322 for a win, India could not get to a good start as Rahane was run out in a bizarre mixed-up in the ninth over with just 49 on board.
Rahane tapped the length ball off Ravi Rampaul on the pads between short fine leg and square leg and after taking the first run quickly, he wanted a second and continued to run hard. But, Dhawan went back after taking a step and both found themselves at the keeper's end and Rahane had to depart for the dressing room.
Virat Kohli (2) continued his struggle for form and even on a batting pitch, he could not do much and got dismissed the next over after facing just five balls. Kohli defended a Jerome Taylor delivery which held its line on the backfoot with an angled bat and the outside edge flew to Sammy at wide slip for a low catch.
Ambati Rayudu (13) looked like he would settle down for a partnership with Dhawan but lasted just six overs before he was out in the 16th over.
India were in a spot of bother when Rayudu was out at 82 for three but the home side's chances of a win was dealt a blow after in-form Suresh Raina was dismissed for a duck three balls later off the bowling of Dwayne Bravo.
Raina, who hit a match-winning unbeaten century for Chennai Super Kings in Champions League Twenty20 final a few days ago, got an inside edge which knocked off his bails.
India were still in a chance till captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was at the crease but it was not the day for the 'Master Finisher' as he was bowled by Darren Sammy for an uncharacteristic eight runs from 21 balls.
Runs dried up in the middle overs with the West Indies bolwers spot on in their line and length and propped up by some good fielding. By the time Dhoni was out in the 26th over, the asking rate had gone up to over eight with half of the batting line up cooling their heels at the dressing room.
Dhawan kept one end intact before he was out in the 29th over but after departed it was as good as over for India. Jadeja stretched the end of the match along with the lower order as the Indians batted for the sake of formalities only.
For West Indies, Dwayne Bravo, Ravi Rampaul and Marlon Samuels grabbed two wickets apiece while Jerome Taylor, Andre Russell and Darren Sammy took a wicket each. Earlier, Marlon Samuels signalled his return to ODI cricket with a brilliantly crafted unbeaten century as West Indies put up a commanding 321 for six.
The 33-year-old Samuels, who last played in an ODI for West Indies seven months back, equalled his career-best score of 126 en route his sixth century in this format, adding 165 for fourth wicket with wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin (61).
In the end, 23 runs came of the final two overs to help the Caribbeans reach a big score on a flat batting track.
Samuels' runs came off 116 balls with 11 fours and four sixes as he paced his innings to perfection reaching the milestone in 99 balls. He found an able ally in Ramdin, who also kept the momentum going with a 59-ball-61 that had five fours and two sixes.
While Samuels' first 50 runs came off 61 balls, the next 50 came off in only 38 balls for the Jamaican, who now has two ODI tons against the Indians.
While Mohammed Shami had the best haul of four for 66 in nine overs, it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar with figures of 0/38 in 10 overs, who had the decent figures among the bowlers.
Veteran leggie Amit Mishra (1/72) got a bit of hammering when he was bowling with the field restrictions during the middle overs.
West Indies upped the ante in between overs 31-40 which yielded them 89 runs when Mishra and other spinner Ravindra Jadeja (1/58) were operating in tandem.
Samuels was brilliant against the spinners as he lofted Mishra off successive deliveries over long-on and long-off for maximum. He completed his 50 with another six off Raina. His 100 came with a gentle tap for a single off Jadeja and then celebrated it with couple of boundaries off Shami.
After being put into bat, it was skipper Dwayne Bravo, who played and missed a few, had only five scoring shots in his 17 --- four of them boundaries before he was snapped at first slip by Shikhar Dhawan off Mohammed Shami's bowling.
His opening partner Dwayne Smith (46 off 45 balls) presented a much better account of himself than what he gave during the recently concluded Champions League T20.
Smith hit four boundaries out of which three were off Mohit Sharma while other was hit off Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Smith also launched into his CSK teammate Ravindra Jadeja hitting him for two huge sixes including one over long-off and the other straight into the sightscreens.