Dhoni Powell India West Indies
West Indies opener Kieran Powell plays the shot that led to his dismissal against India, November 27. BCCI
India opener Shikhar Dhawan celebrates after reaching his hundred against the West Indies. BCCI
India opener Shikhar Dhawan celebrates after reaching his hundred against the West Indies. BCCI

With Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli already making their marks in the series, it was the turn of Shikhar Dhawan, the third of India's electric top three to stamp his authority on the West Indies, and how.

Dhawan flayed the West Indies attack to one delectable boundary after another at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur, smashing a quite brilliant hundred to ease India to the target of 264 in 46.1 overs.

The India vs West Indies ODI series has been attritional; all about spending time in the middle, scratching out the ones and twos and then hopefully going tonk and ladders in the final few overs.

For the third straight one-day international that proved to be the case as the West Indies, after a nice platform, set by Kieran Powell (70) and Marlon Samuels (71), lulled themselves into complacency, before Darren Sammy (37 n.o.), as is his wont, and Darren Bravo (51 n.o.) smashed a few in the final overs to take the West Indies to a competitive score of 263 for five.

Two of India's deadly trio of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli fell early, allowing Dhawan, sedate and rather under the radar in this entire West Indies so far, to take centre stage, and in some serious style too.

Dhawan glided his way to 119 from just 95 deliveries, caressing a massive 20 boundaries on the way to give India, who finished on 266 for five, a 2-1 victory in the three-match series against the West Indies.

Sharma fell in just the fifth over to Ravi Rampaul, feeling outside the off stump to edge one to first slip, before Virat Kohli, after a couple of boundaries, did the same, leaving India on 61 for two in the ninth over.

Yuvraj Singh -- the shaky, tentative one, not the blazing, I-can-hit-the-ball-out-of-the-park-with-ease one -- walked out into the middle, and took his time to get settled, with Sunil Narine, who finished with figures of 10-1-32-1, in particular causing him a world of trouble.

Dhawan at the other end, however, was serene and smooth, batting on a completely different level, a level where batting is as easy as taking a lazy Sunday morning.

Yuvraj, after getting beaten by seemingly every single Narine delivery, slowly grew into his innings, tonking a few boundaries and giving Dhawan good support as India targeted the bowlers whose name did not begin with Ravi or Sunil.

Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh put together a century partnership. BCCI
Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh put together a century partnership. BCCI

The two put together 129 in 21.3 overs, with Dhawan bringing up his fifth hundred during that alliance, in just 73 deliveries - in fact Dhawan had scored almost double of Yuvraj's runs while facing pretty much the same amount of deliveries, which just showed the elegant opener's dominance.

Yuvraj (55, 74b, 7x4), predictably, fell to Narine soon after completing his half-century, before Dhawan gave his wicket away a little later, Dwayne Bravo taking a catch off his own bowling.

That left Suresh Raina (34, 43b, 3x4), on his 27th birthday and on his home ground, and MS Dhoni to ease the rest of the 46 runs which were needed, only for Raina to fall late on before Dhoni (23, 23b, 3x4) and Ravindra Jadeja took India to a commanding victory.

Earlier, it was nice and steady -- with the emphasis on steady -- wins the race for the West Indies for much of the first innings, as India, after winning the toss and choosing to field first, failed to make full use of the decent bowling conditions up front.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, from ball one, swung the ball at a misty Green Park, with the early morning start clearly giving the bowlers a little bit of freshness to make use of at the top.

Kieran Powell and Johnson Charles came into open and the latter, usually free-flowing, got stuck a little, struggling to adjust to the ball-moving-a-little-in-the-air conditions.

It is never a good sign when an aggressive batsman gets tied down a little, and that proved to be the case as Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent Charles packing, with a brilliant in-swinger that uprooted the stumps after the ball found its way through the yawning gate.

The brought Marlon Samuels to the crease, not having the best of times with the bat. The right-hander's struggles continued as the India bowlers kept beating the West Indies batsman's bat, with edges also either falling just short or flying away past the slips.

Samuels hung around, though, with Powell looking assured at the other end. The partnership slowly grew, with the run rate kept at well over four an over.

Soon enough the alliance crossed the 100-run mark, putting the West Indies in a strong position, with the Indian spinners, who had come on, unable to provide that breakthrough.

With Powell looking quite good in the middle, and Samuels looking determined to not throw his wicket away, something had to give, and it was the latter who made a mistake.

West Indies opener Kieran Powell plays the shot that led to his dismissal against India, November 27. BCCI
West Indies opener Kieran Powell plays the shot that led to his dismissal against India, November 27. BCCI

After only just top-edging a sweep attempt, Powell (70, 81b, 9x4), inexplicably went for the shot again off R Ashwin, with the ball falling straight into the lap of Shikhar Dhawan at short fine-leg. The partnership of 117 runs from 24.3 overs was ended, with the West Indies still in a pretty strong position at 137 for two in the 30th over.

However, there was not to be too many big partnerships from there, as Samuels (71, 93b, 7x4, 1x6), after being put down by Virat Kohli in the slips - the Indian youngster needs to cut out these dropped chances - played a lazy shot to Ashwin, who found a way through to clip the top of the stumps.

With the two set batsmen gone, the West Indies started to lose their momentum as India looked to tighten the noose in the last quarter of the innings. Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Bravo did not stick around for too long as Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami sent the two packing, with Bravo yet again throwing his wicket away with a loose shot -- the all-rounder perhaps needs to realise there is a lot more responsibility on his shoulders being the skipper.

That train of wickets in regular intervals left the West Indies on 195 for five with eight overs remaining. As long as Darren Sammy (37, 29b, 1x4, 2x6) was at the crease, though, with Darren Bravo (51, 53b, 4x4, 2x6) at the other end rotating the strike, a final onslaught was always going to be on the cards.

It took a while, the 48th over in fact, with the India bowlers, up to then doing exceedingly well to restrict the batsmen to the ones and twos, giving away just 42 runs from overs 40-47.

When it did come, though, the hitting from Sammy and Bravo, who allied for a partnership of 67 in 49 balls, took the West Indies to a score past 260.

The total proved to be a lot less than desired, however, as India's batting and chasing prowess was highlighted yet again.

It's onto South Africa now for another one-day series, before the Test showdown, in a completely different set of pitches.

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