India’s modest total of 251 runs proved too much for Windies as the hosts were bundled out for 158 in 38.1 overs, thereby handing India a 93-run win and a 2-0 lead in the series. Earlier, MS Dhoni showed signs of his vintage self as he smashed an unbeaten 76 to steer India to 251.
West Indies won the toss and put India into bat in the third ODI of the series, while Jason Holder handed Kyle Hope and Kesrick Williams their debuts in place of Kieran Powell and Alzarri Joseph respectively.
Yuvraj and Rahane nullify Windies’ early advantage
After getting off to brilliant starts in the first two games, India's top order failed to replicate the same under testing conditions as Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli perished for 2 and 11 respectively. The Windies bowlers continuously bowled short balls at the start of the innings to trouble Dhawan as Miguel Cummins had Dhawan out by forcing him to go for an uppercut that ended up in the hands of Roston Chase at third man. Holder, on the other hand, troubled Kohli with a barrage of bouncers, and the move paid dividends as the Indian captain guided a short ball to gully to get out for 11. With Rahane taking his time to play himself in, Yuvraj Singh replaced Kohli in the middle and played a decent cameo of 39 runs off 55 balls that included four hits to the fence. However, the southpaw was trapped by Devendra Bishoo in the 27th over. after having survived a close call in the previous over. The slow start meant that India had managed only 101/3 after 27 overs.
Dhoni’s pyrotechnics propel India to a good total
Yuvraj’s dismissal brought MS Dhoni to the crease and with Rahane, he added 70 runs off 96 balls before the latter fell to a shortish delivery, after a fine diving catch by Bishoo at fine leg. Dhoni, initially, struggled to pick runs off the pacers, but after getting away with two chances in the same over off Bishoo in the 43rd over, he began to unleash his natural strokeplay. And Kedar Jadhav gave him perfect support as India went past 200 runs in the 46th over. After that, Dhoni smashed Holder for two back-to-back sixes in the next over and the pair added 51 runs off the last four overs as India finished with 251 for 4, with Dhoni and Jadhav not out on 78 and 40 respectively.
West Indies lose their way early
Chasing 252 to win on a tricky Antigua wicket, the home side got off to the worst possible start as Umesh Yadav cleaned up Evin Lewis in the second over. The early loss brought Shai Hope to the crease and together with his brother, Kyle Hope, the duo stitched up a decent 44-run partnership, which included Bhuvneshwar Kumar being smashed for 10 runs in the 7th over. But just as the Windies looked set to make a fist out of the game, the debutant Kyle Hope was undone by a short ball from Hardik Pandya in the 13th over as he held out Kedar Jadhav for 19 runs. And the dismissal started a procession for the home side as they lost Roston Chase (2), Shai Hope (24), and skipper Jason Holder (6) all before the halfway stage of their innings.
Spinners lead India to another big win
At the halfway stage of their innings, the West Indies were up against it, having managed only 112 runs for the loss of half their side. And though, Jason Mohammed and Rovman Powell tried to resurrect the Windies innings with their knocks of 40 and 30 respectively and stitched a 54-run partnership but it was simply delaying the inevitable result of the game. Kuldeep Yadav was the most successful bowler for India on the day, ended up with the figures of three for 41 while Ashwin made it a game to remember for himself by trapping Miguel Cummins LBW in what turned out to be the penultimate over of the match and reached 150 ODI wickets. Finally, Kedar Jadhav dismissed Kesrick Williams on the first ball of the 39th over as India registered a 93-run victory and went 2-0 up in the series.
Chahal or Axar? Who will take more wickets for India?
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