Visakhapatnam: Almost a month after they first set foot in India, the West Indies have a reason to smile again. The Caribbean islanders survived several hiccups and a Virat Kohli special to win the second One-Day International at the Dr Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy ACAVDCA Cricket Stadium here on Sunday by two wickets and stay alive in the series.
Despite the fact that their chase was bookended by mini collapses, the visitors would be mightily relieved to finally taste victory. In the process, they handed India their first defeat at this venue.
Chasing 289, the West Indies got off to a poor start, losing Johnson Charles (12) and Marlon Samuels (8) with only 23 runs on the board. But then, Kieran Powell got together with Darren Bravo to first steady the ship, and then put some wind in its sails with a 100run partnership.
When Bravo (50) and Powell (59) got out within 24 runs of each other, Lendl Simmons took over the wheel with a sensible 62. Former captain Darren Sammy also played a gem, shepherding his side home with an unbeaten 63 (45b, 4×4, 4×6).
India didn’t help themselves with a below-par effort on the field, dropping almost half-a-dozen chances.
The visitors almost messed it up by losing two quick wickets when on 285, but Sammy held his nerve to help his team over the line.
Earlier, Virat Kohli missed out on a welldeserved century by just one run while Dhoni (51 not out, 40b, 3×4, 4×6) smashed an unbeaten halfcentury as India made 288 for 7. Had Kohli scored that run, it would have been his 18th career ton, and third consecutive hundred at this ground.
Regardless, Kohli’s 99 established a solid foundation for his side, who began cautiously after being asked to bat first.
Kohli made only one mistake during his stay at the wicket and heartbreakingly enough, it proved fatal.
Ravi Rampaul (4 for 60) bowled one short and Kohli pulled, only for Jason Holder at fine leg to take a diving catch. The crowd were stunned into silence and Kohli began the walk back to the pavilion, seething in fury.
Till that point, however, Kohli looked in supreme touch. He held all the answers, even to questions the West Indies didn’t ask.
His 100-ball knock contained nine fours. He put together crucial partnerships -48 with Shikhar Dhawan (35 off 37, 4×5), 69 with Yuvraj Singh (an unconvincing 28 off 49)) and 65 with Suresh Raina (23 off 24, 2×4).
SCORECARD India: R. Sharma c Sammy b Rampaul 12, S. Dhawan lbw b Permaul 35, V. Kohli c Holder b Rampaul 99, Yuvraj c Samuels b Sammy 28, S.Raina c Bravo b Rampaul 23, M.S. Dhoni (not out) 51, R.Jadeja b Rampaul 10, R.Ashwin c Charles b Holder 19, B. Kumar (not out) 1. Extras (lb1, w9) 10. Total (for seven wickets in 50 overs) 288.
FoW: 1-21, 2-69, 3-138, 4-203, 5-209, 6-240, 7-287 Bowling: Rampaul 10-0-60-4, Holder 10-0-63-1, Bravo 8-0-54-0, Permaul 10-0-55-1, Narine 102-39-0, Sammy 1-0-11-1, Simmons 1-0-5-0.
West Indies: J. Charles c & b Kumar 12, K. Powell st Dhoni b Ashwin 59, M. Samuels c Dhoni b Mohit 8, Darren Bravo c Dhoni b Ashwin 50, L. Simmons lbw b Jadeja 62, Dwayne Bravo c Dhawan b Kumar 18, D. Sammy (not out) 63, J. Holder c Dhoni b Shami 7, S. Narine c sub b Shami 0, V. Permaul (not out) 0. Extras (lb7, w3) 10. Total (for eight wickets in 49.3 overs) 289.
FoW: 1-14, 2-23, 3-123, 4-147, 5-185, 6-267, 7285, 8-285 Bowling: Kumar 9-1-56-2, Mohit 6.3-0-48-1, Shami 7-055-2, Ashwin 10-1-37-2, Raina 7-0-42-0, Jadeja 10-1-44-1.