Windies draw level
Windies Draw Level, Three-Match ODI Series 1, West Indian Batting. For a change the Men in Blue lost in their favourite hunting ground, thanks to the clinical brilliance of the West Indian batting order.
Visakhapatnam: A sensational slog overs heroics by Lendl Simmons (62) and Darren Sammy (63 not out) and their magnificent run-a-ball 82 runs partnership for the sixth wicket took the match away from India despite being firmly in the saddle and helped West Indies register a famous two-wicket win at the Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Sunday to draw the three-match ODI series 1-all.
For a change the Men in Blue lost in their favourite hunting ground, thanks to the clinical brilliance of the West Indian batting order.
It was a splendid effort by the visitors who were playing in the absence of star performer Chris Gayle. If India was looking to cement the series here, they apparently did not reckon with the prowess of the duo and that of Kieran Powell and Daren Bravo, who helped themselves to half-centuries apiece.
When the West Indians began their chase, Bhuvneshwar Kumar breathed venom while scalping Dwayne Bravo (18) when his pull shot was caught by Shikar Dhawan at the fence to have the West Indies at 185 for five. It appeared like it would be a cakewalk win for the host when Ravichandran Ashwin removed the dangerous Darren Bravo (50) and Kieran Powell (59) while preventing them from making a fight-back of the chase.
Earlier, Mohit Sharma accounted for Marlon Samules and Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped Johnson Charles (12) to put skids on the Windies chase, which read a miserable 23 for the loss of two wickets. Kumar took a stunning return catch to end Charles's innings in the third over.
India’s batting revolved around Virat Kohli, who missed out on a hundred by one run before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's fiery knock propelled India to a challenging 288 for seven. Dhoni, in the meanwhile, became the first wicket-keeper in ODI history to lead a team in over 150 matches.
Electing to bowl, the West Indies kept India under pressure for most of the time but the hosts scored 62 runs off the last five overs to steal the thunder from the Caribbeans.
Kohli showed calmness to soothe the nerves but only to fall victim to a rash pull as India were in danger after losing two wickets for 15 runs in the batting power-play.
But once again captain cool Dhoni stood to the task with an unbeaten 51, his 50th ODI half-century, to give India a decent total to defend.
Dhoni slammed three sixes and four boundaries in his 40-ball knock in an entertaining 47-run seventh wicket partnership with R Ashwin.
Kohli had to step in early after fall of Rohit Sharma in the fifth over and he batted sensibly, not going for the cross batted shots, even as the other Indians fell trying to speed up the run-rate.
The incessant rains due to 'Cyclone Helen' had forced the ground to remain under cover for two days and the wicket demanded the batsmen to show patience and play their shots in the V with straight bats.
Kohli showed how to do it with ease and finesse. He took the path of the singles and doubles with the occasional boundaries. He ran for 53 ones and five twos with only nine fours to inch one run shy of a third hundred here.
It was then that the elegant Indian batsman lost his patience briefly as paceman Ravi Rampaul denied him a well-deserved century. Kohli holed out a catch to Holder in deep fine leg. The decider will be played at Kanpur on November 27.
Brief scores: India 288 for seven (Virat Kohli 99, M S Dhoni 51 not out, Shikar Dhawan 35, Ravi Rampaul 4/60) lost to West Indies 289 for eight (Darren Sammy 63 not out, Lendl Simmons 62, Kieran Powell 59, Darren Bravo 50, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/56, Ravichandran Ashwin 2/37).