Mahendra Singh Dhoni [ Images ] served early warning to the bowlers in the Caribbean with a swashbuckling knock in India's [ Images ] tour opening practice match as the visitors beat Jamaica by 116 runs at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay, Jamaica on Tuesday.
The powerfully built wicketkeeper-batsman smashed four boundaries and three sixes in his 45 from 23 balls as the Indians notched up 289 for 7 in their 50 overs before bowling out the hosts for 173 in 45 overs.
Dhoni had a comfortable platform to unleash his powerful strokes as he arrived at the crease in the final 10 overs.
Openers Virender Sehwag [ Images ] (33) and Rahul Dravid [ Images ] (31) had put on 65 for the first wicket followed by Suresh Raina [ Images ] (50) and Mohammad Kaif (49) who built on the solid platform.
Dhoni didn't fail to provide a flourish in the end with all three of his sixes deserving mention. His first was a low flat six which hit the fence like a whistle. He then drove a six off Daren Powell [ Images ] which cleared the ground and landed on top of a three-storey building across the street.
The Jharkhand lad's last pick-up from an off-spinner also kept travelling in a line parallel to the ground.
Sehwag played a contrasting knock but just when he seemed to be hitting straps with two successive boundaries, he dabbed a catch to wicketkeeper off the hard-working Powell.
Skipper Dravid was done in by umpire Cecil Fletcher and made his point by glancing at the umpire more than once while trudging back.
The ball was certainly headed down the leg stump if it had not already hit the inside edge of the blade on to the pads.
While Raina impressed with his clever manipulation of the field and powerful flicks down the onside, Kaif also played a busy innings and essayed a few pleasing drives down the ground.
On the flip side, the Indians bowled in a methodical manner without quite hitting top gear but it still seemed enough for a hapless bunch of local cricketers.
The wickets kept falling at regular intervals before the introduction of irregular bowlers allowed the tailenders to free their arms.
It certainly pleased the spectators in the packed stands who had suffered in the hot sun with little to cheer.
V Sehwag c Hibbert b Powell
R Dravid lbw b Richardson 31
S Raina retired 50
Y Singh c Hibbert b Lawson 18
M Kaif b Richardson 49
Y V Rao not out 15
M S Dhoni b Powell 49
I Pathan c Lambert b Richardson 5
A Agarkar not out 12
Extras: (w 13, nb 3, lb 10, b 4) 30
Total: (for 7 wickets in 50 overs) 289
Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-76, 3-114, 4-207, 5-209, 6-264, 7-273.
Bowling: Lawson 10-0-60-1 (4w, 1nb), Powell 10-1-53-2 (3w), Richardson 9.3-0-47-3 (1w, 2nb), Brown 10-0-45-0, Sinclair 6-0-29-0, Lambert 4-0-36-0, Hyatt 0.3-0-5-0.
D Ebanks c Harbhajan b R P Singh 21
D Hyatt c & b Pathan 10
D Pagon c Dravid b Patel 4
T Lambert c Yuvraj b Harbhajan 33
W Hinds lbw b Agarkar 12
D Sinclair c Agarkar b Yuvraj 2
D Morgan not out 19
K Hibbert lbw b Harbhajan 0
D Powell c Pathan b Sehwag 24
B Brown c Dhoni b Patel 22
J Lawson c Yuvraj b Patel 6
Extras: (w 13, b 4, lb 3) 20
Total: (all out in 45 overs) 173
Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-39, 3-50, 4-71, 5-84, 6-99, 7-103, 8-133, 9-162, 10-173.