Sehwag’s record double ton gives India huge win over West Indies

Indore, Dec 8: Riding on skipper Virender Sehwag’s record 219, the highest ever individual score in an ODI, India thrashed the West Indies by 153 runs in the fourth One-Day International at the Holkar Stadium here Thursday. India now take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

Sehwag set ODI’s highest individual score, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 unbeaten, with some sensational hitting and powered India to its highest ODI total of 418/5.

Sehwag’s 149-ball carnage of the West Indies bowling was laced with 25 fours and seven sixes.

Tendulkar’s 200 off 147 balls (25×4, 3×6) came against South Africa at Gwalior, around 500 km from here and also in the state of Madhya Pradesh, in February 2010. He was the first cricketer ever to score a double century in ODIs.

Sehwag, who has two triple centuries in Tests, now has the distinction of being India’s top scorer in both Tests and ODIs. Sehwag’s Test best is 319 against South Africa in Chennai in 2008.

For West Indies the target was a huge challenge. All they needed was a great start and a big partnership, but couldn’t get either. Opening batsmen Lendl Simmons (36) and Marlon Samuels (33) were flashy and perished soon.

Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin scored a fighting run-a-ball 96 but didn’t get good support from the other end.

Riding on Sehwag’s power-packed performance, India surpassed its best ODI total of 414/7 against Sri Lanka at Rajkot in 2009.

The stand-in captain, Sehwag was lucky to win the toss for the fourth consecutive time in the series and decided to bat.

The explosive opener took his regular partner Gautam Gambhir (67) to open the innings, having batted with Parthiv Patel for three matches without any success. In fact, the top-order batting was becoming bit of a bother for India.

But Sehwag responded the way only he can, tearing apart the West Indies bowlers. The spectators were literally up on their feet as Sehwag dealt in fours and sixes.

Sehwag and Gambhir blasted 176 runs in 22.5 overs, setting the pace for the big total on a belter of a track.

Gambhir, who survived a dropped chance, hit 11 fours before being run out.

Suresh Raina, who was also going through a bad patch in the series contributed 55, and was involved in a 140-run stand with Sehwag. Raina was also run out of from Andre Russel throw from the deep.

Sehwag was the dominating partner in both the partnerships. He stroked the ball with immaculate timing. He got a life when he was on 171 with West Indies captain Darren Sammy dropping a sitter.

Excitment was pitch high as Sehwag neared his double century. He made the most of the life and got past Tendulkar’s record with a four through point off Andre Russel, sparking celebrations in the packed Holkar Stadium.

On reaching the landmark, Sehwag punched the air in elation and raised his hands to acknowledge the cheers from the crowd. Sehwag’s double ton came in 142 balls.

He was finally dismissed by Kieron Pollard, caught by substitute Anthony Martin at long on.

Sehwag’s top ODI score before this innings was 175 against Bangladesh in the World Cup opener earlier this year.

IANS