India vs West Indies | Top-order propel India to their first win of the series

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India vs West Indies | Top-order propel India to their first win of the series

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SportsCafe Desk

06/26/2017

Exceptional batting performances from Ajinkya Rahane(103), Virat Kohli(87), and Shikhar Dhawan(63) helped India beat Windies by XX runs in the second ODI at Port of Spain. The bowlers then followed up the exquisite batting performance and restricted the hosts to 205/6 in their chase of 311.

Brief scores: India 310/5 in 43 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 103, Virat Kohli 87, Shikhar Dhawan 63; Alzarri Joseph 2-73) beat Windies 205/6 (Shai Hope 81, Roston Chase 33; Kuldeep Yadav 3/50, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/9) by 105 runs.

West Indies won the toss in a rain-curtailed match, which was reduced to 43 overs, and elected to field first in order to utilise the moisture in the pitch to their advantage. Both the teams fielded the same XI as they did in the first ODI.

Dhawan and Rahane get India off to a flyer, yet again         

Ajinkya Rahane took on the role of the aggressor initially in the innings and played some cracking shots that included a brilliant hit six, to get India off to a terrific start. Shikhar Dhawan followed the footsteps of his partner when he hit Jason Holder for two consecutive boundaries in the 4th over and replicated the same in the 8th over to help India reach the 50-run mark. West Indies paceman kept struggling against the set opening pair and skipper Jason Holder tried to counter the duo with Ashley Nurse’s off spin. However, the change did not pay off as the Indian duo kept the scoreboard ticking at one end while targeting Alzarri Joseph at the other to keep the run rate at a hefty 6.5 rpo. Dhawan continued his consistent performance and yet again got to his half-century with ease. The southpaw then carried on with the same aggression and brought up the 100-run stand in the 17th over to put India in a commanding position in the match. Rahane too continued on the offensive and hit Devendra Bishoo for 11 runs in the following over. However, Dhawan was stumped in the over that followed and yet again missed out on a deserving century. At the end of 20 overs, India were at a more than comfortable position scoring 124/1 with Rahane already completing his second consecutive fifty.

Rahane and Kohli’s explosive stint power India to  310

Dhawan’s departure brought skipper Virat Kohli onto the crease who dealt in with only singles to start with. Rahane, on the other end, kept attacking the Windies’ bowlers with Bishoo his main target whom he milked for another 11 runs in the 26th over to reach his highest score of 78* against the West Indies. Rahane looked a bit nervy in his eighties when he made multiple unforced errors to put his wicket in jeopardy. However, Kohli on the other end struck the right note in the 29th over when he hit Bishoo for two consecutive boundaries to take the score to 187/1. Rahane then brought up his maiden ODI century against the Windies side with a glorious cover drive. However, on the last delivery of the same over, Rahane was sent packing by Miguel Cummins to make way for the explosive Hardik Pandya. However, Pandya squandered away his wicket at 4 after previously being saved by a no-ball in the very same over. Yuvraj Singh, who followed Pandya also failed to fire and nicked one behind to Shai Hope to depart for 14. However, Kohli took charge and some exquisite and classy strokeplay from the Indian skipper powered India to 285 before he was dismissed for 87. MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav then smashed Windies skipper Jason Holder for 20 runs to take India to a formidable 310.  

Windies steady their innings after a stumbling start 

The Windies batting had their task cut out before chasing the monstrous target of 311 but Bhuvneshwar Kumar put the home side in a dicey situation by sending Kieron Powell packing on only the third delivery of the very first over. Umesh Yadav followed it up with a tight over yielding just a single run that paved the way for Kumar’s second wicket in the form of Jason Mohammed in as many overs to reduce Windies to 4-2. Evin Lewis and Shai Hope were then burdened with the responsibility of rebuilding the Windies innings and the duo went about their task with caution to take their side to 22-2 at the end of 8 overs. Hope took on the role of the aggressor while Lewis took his time setting his eye on the crease. Hope then went after debutant Kuldeep Yadav and smashed him for 10 runs in his very first over in ODIs. However, the asking rate had already climbed up to 9.33 and the duo needed to break the shackles to keep the match within their reach. Hope did just that as he continued targeting the Indian spinners and brought up his 2nd ODI fifty. The Windies duo kept banking on the inexperience of young Kuldeep Yadav and milking him for most of their runs. However, the youngster clawed his way back into the game when he sent the set Lewis back to the dressing room to break their 89-run stand and scalp his first ever ODI wicket. The home side could manage to only muster 93/3 in the first 20 overs, giving India the control of the game. 

Sluggish Windies slump to a 105-run defeat

The wicket was followed by a stream of dry overs as the Indian bowlers successfully choked the Windies batsmen for runs and piled up the pressure on the home side as the required rate crept up to 11.3 at the end of the 25th over. Kuldeep Yadav reaped the benefits of the increased pressure when he caught Shai Hope plumb in front of the stumps at 81. Following Hope’s wicket, the Windies side yet again took some time to rebuild their innings. However, time was running out for the home side and they desperately needed to break free and the piling pressure did the trick as Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Jonathan Carter for 13 to reduce Windies to 132-5 in 29.2 overs. With wickets falling at regular intervals, the asking rate had soared to 15 rpo and the home side needed some miracle to accomplish the uphill task. The home team looked content with playing out the 43-overs and lacked the intent of getting as close to the total as possible. Kuldeep Yadav scalped his third of the match when he sent Jason Holder packing in a game that India were a whisker away from winning. The Windies kept dealing in singles that led to the required rate climb up to 32 rpo and it was just a matter of 24 deliveries before the match ended in India’s favour. The inevitable happened when  Hardik Pandya bowled the last delivery of the 43rd over that resulted in India winning the match by 105 runs and leading the series 1-0.

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