At Perth, March 6, 2015 (day/night). India won by four wickets. Toss: West Indies.
For those infuriated by the bloated World Cup schedule, this was a match to avoid. The first meeting between these teams since West Indies aborted their tour of India in October over a pay dispute ought to have been a politically charged occasion. But had both sides taken valium, put on their comfiest trousers and listened to trip-hop, they couldn't have shown less intent, interest or energy; Dhoni moved the field with the panache of a man showing an insurance document to a Friday-afternoon seminar. AgainstMohammed Shami in particular, the West Indies top order seemed confused by the wooden things they held in their hands; Gayle's reluctance to consider singles resulted in the predictable run-out of Samuels. By the 25th over, they were 85 for seven, and it took a mix of brazen hitting and sheer bloody-mindedness from Holder, one man for whom playing for West Indies clearly meant something, to drag them to 182. That was at least a basis for negotiation on a helpful wicket, as their gesticulating bowling coach Curtly Ambrose - who once enjoyed a Test spell of seven for one here - was keen to ram home. And, for a while, they put up a fight. Taylor was excellent with the new ball, and India were six down with 49 to make. But, with nine overs still available for the four frontline seamers, Holder unaccountably turned to Samuels's remodelled off-spin and Dwayne Smith's enticing slow-medium. The game finished with these two spoon-feeding Dhoni and Ashwin in a way that no cricket lover should have had to endure. JARROD KIMBER
Man of the Match: Mohammed Shami