India’s spinners have wreaked havoc on the West Indies to rout the defending champions by seven wickets in the World Twenty20 tournament in Dhaka.
The West Indies, sent in to bat, managed only 129-7 as leg-spinner Amit Mishra claimed two for 18 in four overs, Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up one.
India strolled past the modest target with two deliveries to spare as Virat Kohli made 54 off 41 balls and Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten on a fluent 62.
The pair put on 106 for the second wicket after left-hander Shikhar Dhawan was trapped leg-before by spinner Samuel Badree off the fifth ball of the innings.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men, who beat arch-rivals Pakistan on Friday, now need one more win from their remaining two matches against Australia and hosts Bangladesh to advance to the semi-finals.
Dhoni said his team was not looking at the semi-finals yet and still needed to work on some weak areas.
“Let’s take it one game at a time,” he said. “There is no point thinking too far ahead. We could have finished it an over earlier but that was up to the batsmen in the middle.
“We are playing well, but we still don’t have a bowler who can bowl the 18th and the 20th overs. We are trying out various combinations to see who is better suited to the job.”
Dhoni said he was happy to see Sharma get runs under his belt.
“It was important for Rohit to bat through the innings. He will take plenty of confidence from this game.”
West Indies captain Darren Sammy said India deserved to win, but remained confident his defending champions would make the knock-out rounds.
“We just did not respond well enough to their spinners, it took us a long time to settle down,” he said. “But credit to India, they executed their plans well.
“It was good to see our bowlers take the game to the last over, because run-rate could come into play later. We did not have enough runs on the board but was happy with the way the bowlers came back.
“We know what our top order can do. It’s just one game down, we have three more to go. We are not pressing panic buttons, we will regroup and come back strongly.”
The Indian bowlers kept the normally free-stroking West Indies batsmen in check, allowing them just 74 runs by the 15th over for the loss of four wickets.
The hard-hitting Chris Gayle, dropped before he had scored and then again on 19, made a 33-ball 34 with two sixes and a four before he was run out in the 13th over.
Mishra had Marlon Samuels stumped by Dhoni and claimed Dwayne Bravo leg-before off successive balls in the 15th over to open up the lower order.
Lendl Simmons, who was caught off a Jadeja no-ball in the 18th over, celebrated the let-off by smashing the next ball for a six.
Simmons made 27 off 22 balls as Jadeja conceded three sixes in the final over.