India have celebrated their 1000th one-day international with a crushing six-wicket win over West Indies, achieving the landmark win with a remarkable 22 overs to spare.
Rohit Sharma scored 60 in his first outing as India’s full-time ODI captain in Sunday’s first 50-over clash of the series as his side easily chased down the West Indies total of 176.
India finished on 4-178 in only 28 overs – with 132 balls remaining – to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“Losing with 22 overs to spare is a heavy defeat,” West Indies captain Kieron Pollard conceded.
“It was the same old (story) for us – not being able to bat 50 overs,” he added, after his side were skittled in 43.5 overs.
India became the first team to achieve the 1000-match milestone with their first ODI having been against England in 1974 at Headingley.
It’s the most one-day international matches played by any nation – Australia is next in the order, 42 matches behind – and victory over the West Indies brought India to an overall ODI winning record of 54.58 per cent.
The historic game marked the beginning of a new chapter for India as Sharma takes over from Virat Kohli as captain in the white-ball formats.
Yuzvendra Chahal took 4-49 and Washington Sundar 3-30 after India won the toss and opted to bowl.
At 3-45 after 12 overs, the visitors never really got going. Mohammed Siraj (1-26) provided the initial breakthrough by removing Shai Hope (8) early.
Sundar sent back Brandon King (13) and Darren Bravo (18) with West Indies struggling for partnerships as India pressed home their advantage.
Chahal struck a triple blow in the middle overs as West Indies were reduced to 6-78 in 21.5 overs.
Nicholas Pooran (18) was trapped leg before wicket, while Pollard (0) didn’t even trouble the scorers. Chahal took his third wicket in nine balls as Shamarh Brooks (12) was caught behind.
The leg spinner was named man of the match for his spell.
Jason Holder (57) scored an anchoring half-century as West Indies escaped embarrassment, adding 78 runs for the eighth wicket with Fabian Allen (29).
In reply, India were never in bother as openers Sharma and Ishan Kishan (28) put on 84 in just 79 balls. Sharma hit 10 fours and a six in his 51-ball innings, scoring his 44th ODI half-century.
Alzarri Joseph (2-45) dismissed Kohli (8), who had played uncharacteristic shots to four successive short balls and was caught at fine leg.
Rishabh Pant (11) was run out after Kishan threw away his start and holed out and India were left at 4-116 in 17.3 overs.
But Suryakumar Yadav (34 not out) and debutant Deepak Hooda (26 not out) avoided any further hiccups with a calm 62-run partnership.
India had been set back with four players missing due to COVID-19. Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Navdeep Saini returned positive tests on Wednesday and were ruled out of the series.
The second ODI will be played at the same venue on Wednesday.