Iyer, Pant fifties help India post 288/8 against Windies
Chennai: Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant slammed fluent half centuries as India's middle order came to party to help the side post 288/8 in 50 overs against the West Indies in the first One-Day International at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.
Iyer (70; 88b; 5x4, 1x6) and Pant (71;69b; 7x4, 1x6) shared a 114-run partnership for the fourth wicket to help India recover from a top-order collapse and post a challenging total on a slow wicket after they were asked to bat first.
This was Iyer's third successive fifty while Pant struck his maiden half century to put behind flak that he has been drawing for his poor form in recent times. Back in the team after a break, Kedar Jadhav also helped the cause with a 35-ball 40 (3x4, 1x6).
The hosts were reduced to 25/2 in the seventh over with opener K.L. Rahul (6) and skipper Virat Kohli (4) back in the hut early.
Sheldon Cottrell (2/46) unfurled his salute twice in the seventh over as his double strike silenced the home crowd.
While Rahul fell prey to the slowness of the pitch, a Cottrell back of a length delivery on leg stump taking the leading edge of his bat and settling into Shimron Hetmyer's hands at short mid-on, Kohli saw the ball take the inside edge of his bat and clatter into the stumps.
Rohit (36) and Iyer then resurrected the ship somewhat with a 55-run stand for the third wicket but just as the pair looked settled, the India vice-captain mistimed a pull to midwicket where the Windies' skipper Kieron Pollard completed an easy catch off Alzarri Joseph (2/45).
From then on, it was Iyer and Pant who showed a lot of maturity to see off the initial period and get used to the sluggish surface to then build on their respective innings.
Pant was particularly impressive as he showed good temperament to grind it out in the first few overs and put the good balls away. India reached 104/3 at the halfway stage with both batsmen looking set.
Pant hit Roston Chase for the first six of the innings in the 28th over as Iyer brought up his 50 from 70 deliveries. Pant got to his maiden half century in 49 balls and was lucky to survive as he was dropped by Cottrell at cover off Pollard when he was batting on 56.
Iyer, meanwhile, flicked a Joseph delivery straight to Pollard to miss out on a hundred while Pant could not make the most of his reprieve, holing out to Hetmyer at deep square leg in the 40th over.
But the pair had set up the platform for Jadhav and Jadeja to go big in the last ten overs. The duo did well for a quickfire 59-run partnership but once Jadhav was removed by Keemo Paul (2/41), the batsman holing out to Pollard at long on trying to clear the boundary, the visitors reined in and conceded only 38 runs in the last five, taking three wickets.
Jadeja's run out was bizarre as South African umpire Shaun George asked for a third umpire review only after replays showed the batsman was short of his crease.
Brief scores: India 288/8 in 50 overs (Rishabh Pant 71, Shreyas Iyer 70, Kedar Jadhav 40; Sheldon Cottrell 2/46, Keemo Paul 2/41, Alzarri Joseph 2/45) vs West Indies.