Indian skipper Virat Kohli scored his 18th century while chasing to help India romp past Windies’ target of 206 runs by losing 2 wickets with 13.1 overs to spare. Earlier in the game, Indian pacers shone with the ball to confine the Windies side to a modest 205 at the batting-friendly Sabina Park.
After winning the toss, West Indies skipper Jason Holder chose to bat first on the batting-friendly Sabina Park wicket. Both the skippers were confident of their respective teams that competed in the last game and don’t make any change to the playing XI.
Kyle Hope's aggressive play gives Windies the best start of the series
Kyle Hope and Evin Lewis started the proceedings for the hosts playing the first over with utmost caution. Umesh Yadav, who is known for picking up early wickets, was smashed by Hope for eight runs in his very first over, which forced Indian skipper Virat Kohli to bring Hardik Pandya into the attack as early as the third over judging by Hope's record against the medium pace. But the move did not pay off as the right-hander played Pandya with caution while he kept pounding Umesh Yadav at the other end. Lewis, on the other hand, took his sweet time to set his eye in the game but failed to do so for a longer period as he launched a dolly into the hands of Kohli at short cover. Kyle was joined by younger brother Shai at the crease and the brothers kept scoring with ease to get the home team to a score of 68-1 at the end of 15 overs. Kyle continued to take on Umesh Yadav by hitting him for two consecutive boundaries before hitting one into the hands of Shikhar Dhawan, four runs short of his maiden half-century. Roston Chase followed his compatriot on the very next delivery as Yadav caught him plumb in front of the stumps. The consecutive wickets pulled back the Windies innings to a certain level as they managed to score 102-2 at the midway point of the innings.
Windies suffer yet another batting collapse
Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja then took charge and further slowed down the West Indian innings. Kedar Jadhav's introduction in the game did wonders for the Indian team, yet again as the part-time off-spinner sent Jason Mohammed packing for 16 benefiting from the run-drought. Windies skipper Jason Holder walked out to the crease to accompany Shai and the two strung a 49-run partnership dealing majorly in singles while dismissing the bad deliveries to the boundary before Holder mistimed a delivery to Dhawan at long-off. The Windies never recovered from that as wickets kept tumbling with Hope taking the long walk back to the dressing room next, after scoring his half-century. The lower order failed to put up a fight and it seemed the Windies would once again bow out before reaching the 200-run mark. However, Rovman Powell stepped up to the occasion and scored 15 runs off last 6 balls to ensure the hosts finished with 205 runs on the board.
Kohli corners Windies bowlers
Despite getting off the mark with a boundary, Shikhar Dhawan failed to make it count for the third consecutive time in the series as he drove the ball into the hands of Evin Lewis on the last delivery of the first over of the Indian innings. The Windies were then expected to capitalise on the early breakthrough and contain the Indian batsmen and were offered a golden opportunity when the in-form Ajinkya Rahane cut a Jason Holder delivery towards Devendra Bishoo at cover point who put it down giving Rahane a further chance to make it count. The hosts paid the price for it as Kohli and Rahane smashed the bowlers for 28 runs in 3 overs to take India to 50-1 at the end of the first powerplay. Holder then introduced spin with Devendra Bishoo to keep the duo in check and the strategy worked partially as a slight dip in the run rate was noticed but it wasn’t enough as Rahane and Kohli kept rotating the strike with ease while chasing a modest 206. The move finally paid off when Bishoo caught Rahane plumb in front of the stumps denying the 29-year old his fifth consecutive half-century. However, runs kept flowing from Kohli’s bat who got to his 44th ODI half-century in style with a boundary. The Indian innings progressed at a hefty rate of 5 rpo as the visitors reached the midway mark with 126-2 on the board.
Kohli scores yet another century in a run-chase to take India home
Dinesh Karthik complemented Kohli beautifully as the duo went about their task of scoring boundaries at will. The home team needed a flurry of wickets to pull the game back in their favour but that didn’t seem to happen as the duo reached their 50-run partnership in only 43 deliveries. From then on, the Indian batsmen started dealing in boundaries with at least one boundary in every over. Kohli dictated the terms of the game with his tormenting and exquisite strokeplay, which also got the 28-year old his 18th ODI century while chasing bagging the world record of most hundreds by any batsman while chasing surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 17. Karthik followed the suit and got to his half-century before Kohli, deservingly, finishing the game with a six over long-on.
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