Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli Reuters

India needed to make a statement after two losses, one an absolutely crushing one, in their first two matches of the tri-series.

A change of venue to the southern tip of the West Indies seemed to have done the trick, with skipper Virat Kohli leading the way in glorious style to keep India in the running in the tri-series.

The Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad turned out to be a lot kinder than Sabina Park and after being put into bat by the West Indies, India found their swagger with the willow yet again.

Kohli was imperious in a brilliant 102 from 83 balls, with the openers - Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan - for the first time in the tournament giving India a good start, from which there was no looking back as India posted a formidable 311 for seven in their 50 overs.

West Indies were never really allowed to mount a serious challenge by the Indian fast bowlers, criticized heavily for their abject performance against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, with a lengthy rain delay not making much of a difference as India cantered to a 102-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis method, after the West Indies folded up for 171 in 34 overs, failing to get anywhere near the revised target of 274 from 39 overs.

India now are in a strong position to make the final, if they defeat Sri Lanka in their last game of course, after also picking up a bonus point in the win over the West Indies.

Dwayne Bravo, returning from injury and seeing a generous covering of grass, albeit dry grass, decided to give his fast bowlers a crack at the Indian batsmen, hoping for another couple of quick wickets to then test the seemingly brittle middle order, without the peerless MS Dhoni.

However, Dhawan and Sharma hung in there quite admirably, while also ensuring the run rate never really got out of hand, with India chugging along well above 4-runs-an-over at the 20-over mark.

Dhawan (69, 77b, 8x4, 2x6) fell in the 24th over, an over after thumping Sunil Narine for two sixes and a four, with the left-hander holing out to square leg off Kemar Roach.

India lost their way a little bit after that, with Rohit (46, 78b, 5x4) - again failing to make use of a start - Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik falling in succession, before Kohli and Murali Vijay came together for a crucial 42-run alliance which built the momentum.

Vijay (27, 18b, 5x4) lost his wicket in the 40th over, before Ravindra Jadeja was run out soon after, bringing R Ashwin to the crease alongside his captain, who was only on 44 at that point in the 42nd over.

West Indies, who might have rightly thought they had India by the scruff of the neck, were then treated to some truly outstanding hitting from Kohli (102, 83b, 13x4, 2x6), as the elegant right-hander not only marched past his half-century, but raced to his hundred in the blink of an eye.

Kohli, who was dismissed in the final ball of the innings, and Ashwin scored a massive 90 runs in the last 8.2 overs, with the latter, calmness personified, scoring a valuable 25 (18b, 3x4) as India coasted past the 300-run mark.

West Indies were wondering how on earth they had let India off the hook in the first innings, and the shock of having thrown away a chance of easing to the finals showed in their batting.

Chris Gayle fell early, edging one off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, missed considerably in the previous game, to wicketkeeper Karthik.

Darren Bravo did the same a couple of overs later, but this time the ball landing in the safe hands of Ashwin at slip.

At the end of the tenth over, rain decided to have its say, with play stopped for one-and-a-half hours. The West Indies were set a target of 274 from 39 overs, but the Indian fast bowlers were not going to allow the home side a crack at it.

Ishant Sharma induced another outside edge to dismiss Marlon Samuels, before Kumar (three for 29) picked up his third wicket, dismissing Kieron Pollard for a golden duck - Ashwin taking another catch in the slips.

Johnson Charles (45, 39b, 6x4), the only batsman who put up any kind of resistance at the top, fell an over later to Ishant (two for30), before Umesh Yadav picked up three wickets of his own to end West Indies' hopes. 

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