Dharamsala: Virat Kohli struck a rollicking 127 as India fashioned a 59-run win over the West Indies here today, effectively sealing the ODI series 2-1 after the visitors dramatically pulled out from the remainder of the tour over an acrimonious pay dispute with their board.
Kohli reassured that he is back in form and struck a sublime knock off 114 balls to push India to 330 for six after the West Indies put them in to bat on a wicket expected to favour the bowlers.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane(68) and Suresh Raina (71) were the other big contributors to the formidable score, reached also with the help of loose bowling and sloppy fielding from the West Indies.
The West Indies, who made their mind of going back home last night and were somehow convinced to play at least today's game, found it tough to give their best. Their negative body language expectedly affected their overall game, culminating with their unsuccessful chase that ended at 271 all out in 48.1 overs.
A rare positive for them on the day was Marlon Samuels (112 off 106), who raced to his seventh ODI hundred and second in three matches. The Caribbean batsmen crawled to 27 for 2 in 11 overs, making it difficult for them to get near the stiff target.
Samuels fought a lost battle with Darren Bravo (40) chipping in at the top. Andre Russell came up with a 46-run cameo (off 23 balls) towards the end. It seemed that the West Indies were batting on a different wicket to the Indians, who scored runs at will.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/25) and Umesh Yadav (2/44) made the ball talk early on as the opposition batsmen went into their shell.
Samuels at least showed the will to fight and saved his team further embarrassment. He hammered nine fours and six sixes, especially taking spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/80) to the cleaners. The game poignantly ended with Samuels getting bowled off Mohammed Shami.
Young left-arm spinner Akshar Patel, brought into the side in place of Amit Mishra, ended up with tidy figures of 26 for two in 10 overs.
Earlier, Kohli along with Raina (71) and Rahane (68) made batting look easy on a pitch that was expected to behave differently. Kohli showed his class on way to reaching his first hundred across formats since February, following which he experienced the first lean patch of his career. With the century, he also became the fastest to score 20 hundreds in ODIs.