Antigua: India beat West Indies by 93 runs at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua on Friday, to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.
With three matches having already been played, West Indies can now only draw the series.
Two trends have dominated international cricket over the past few years. One has been the rise of the Indian team as an all-round force in world cricket and the other has been West Indies’ free fall.
The second has only accelerated in the past two years and this trend has been a theme so far in this series.
In keeping with this, West Indies could not capitalise on a good start they got at Antigua to surrender the third ODI by 93 runs to India. It means that India now have a 2-0 lead in the series with one match being abandoned.
West Indies never got going with their chase. They lost their first wicket in the form of Evin Lewis in the second over.
Shai Hope was then joined by elder brother Kyle in the middle and the two gave West Indies some stability. But the runs were too few and in between and India were able to build pressure on the hosts.
It had its desired effect as Kyle Hope succumbed to Hardik Pandya in the 12th over.
Roston Chase was then dismissed in the very next over. The younger Hope was soon to depart and once again, it was clear that West Indies would not be troubling the Indians anymore in the match. Captain Jason Holder was once again stumped by MS Dhoni.
The big hitting Rovman Powell and Jason Mohammed then gave West Indies then gave a sliver of hope as the two put up a 50-run partnership. But yet again, India tightened the noose and made runs hard to get.
Soon Powell was dismissed and Jason Mohammed followed suite, both falling to Kuldeep Yadav.
India got off to a rocky start in their innings as they lost Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli before the end of the first 10 overs.
Ajinkya Rahane then stabilized the Indian innings along with Yuvraj Singh but the latter was dismissed at 39.
MS Dhoni then stood strong with Rahane who managed to make 72 before falling to Miguel Cummins.
Kedar Jadhav then joined Dhoni and the two then championed a late surge and managed to take India beyond the 250-mark.
With a series win now being completely ruled out for West Indies, their chances of securing an automatic qualification spot for the 2019 World Cup looks bleaker than ever.
India - 251 for 4 (Dhoni 78*, Rahane 72)
West Indies - 158 (Ashwin 3-28, Kuldeep 3-41)
Result - India won by 93 runs