India beat West Indies by 3 runs on first day of ODI, Samson earns praises

The top three of India's batting line-up made half-centuries in the first One Day International against West Indies on Friday. The visitors were able to post a total of 310/7 on the board. However, they were well set to get more runs before the hosts rallied in the final 15 overs.

Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill got off to a quick start and added 59 runs for the first three runs. The former player was able to hit the first ball for a boundary, and the latter got off the mark with a square drive. The runs flowed thick and fast as India reached 29 in just three overs.

After making a fluent half-century, India's top-scorer, Shikar, was caught by Kyle Mayers off the bowling of Romario Shepherd. India was 73/0 at the end of 10 overs.

After being dropped at the top of the order, Gill made the most of his opportunity to play at the top of the order by hitting a six and a four off the first two balls of the West Indies' attack. He and Shikhar added a hundred for the second-highest partnership of the innings.

West Indies were able to get a reprieve after the left-handed opener was run out following a run-out. Gill could have easily reached his destination at the other end, but he made a lazy attempt at running out of the field.

The early introduction of the new overs didn't deter Shikhar as he continued to make runs at a steady rate. However, the lack of runs from the other players affected the team's performance. In response, India's middle-order batsman, Shreyas Iyer, was kept quiet by the West Indies' slow and variable pacers. After the pair of spin-friendly overs, Iyer took on Nicholas Pooran and hit a couple of boundaries to help put India on top.

However, the next delivery by Dhawan resulted in a superb catch by Shamarh Brooks to remove the skipper. India were eventually able to reach a total of 225/2 after 35 overs. However, West Indies could fight back and take the lead in the game. Another impressive catch by Pooran off the bowling of Suryakumar Yadav helped the hosts take the lead.

Sanju Samson, who was allowed to play in the middle order, was also out lbw to Shepherd. Alzarri Joseph was the pick of the West Indies' attack at the death overs. Joseph kept the pressure on India's top-order by hitting two sixes and a couple of boundaries.

Fans praise Samson's catch

Twitter was abuzz with the story of Samson's diving catch in the final over of the first ODI at the Port of Spain in Trinidad. He was able to keep the hosts at a tight 15 runs. Samson's incredible catch ultimately helped the hosts win the game with a small margin.

"Sanju Samson's keeping was outstanding in this match - In the last over he saved Crucial 4 runs and must credit goes to him and even Mohammad Siraj was appreciated and clapping for his wicketkeeping when he saved," a fan wrote on Twitter.

After winning the first series match, India will take a commanding lead in the three-game series when the team faces West Indies in the second ODI on July 24 at the same venue. The Men in Blue will also play five Twenty20 Internationals against the Caribbeans following the match's conclusion.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.