After a clinical show in the T20I series, Team India continued their winning juggernaut in the 50-over format as well against familiar opposition – West Indies. Skipper Virat Kohli, young Shreyas Iyer and seasoned pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar played the role of chief architects of India’s clinical 59-run victory over Windies in the 2nd ODI on Sunday. Courtesy this win, the Men in Blue have taken an unbeatable 1-0 lead in the 3-match ODI series at the beautiful Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad. (MATCH HIGHLIGHTS) Also Read - Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Mary Kom Participate in Lights Off Challenge as Sporting Fraternity Unite in Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic by Lighting Candles, Lamps
Putting behind all the frustration of the washed-out first encounter, the visitors showed the hunger to succeed right from the word go against a clueless Windies side. After dishing out a solid batting performance, the bowlers rose up to the occasion and played party poopers in Chris Gayle’s record-breaking 300th ODI appearance. Chasing a revised target of 270 to win in 46 overs, West Indies once again suffered an epic collapse of huge proportion as they lost their last seven wickets in just 62 runs. From 148/3 the hosts have been bowled out for 210. (SCORECARD) Also Read - COVID-19 Outbreak: Harbhajan Singh, Wife Geeta Basra to Feed 5000 families in Jalandhar
Opener Evin Lewis played a good solid hand of 65 to provide some assistance and a ray of hope for the hosts. Hope and Gayle departed when the score just crossed 50. Lewis though then steadied the ship with first with talented Shimron Hetmyer, who once again failed to convert hist start into something substantial. Lewis conjured up a good 56-run stand with Nicholas Pooran to tilt the match in West Indies favour but once he departed the other followed suit and the rest of the unit bundled like a pack of cards.
Star India pacer Bhuvneshwar continued his love affair with the Queen’s Park Oval by picking up 4 wickets in 8-over quota. Earlier, Kohli led from the front with a fine century, his 42nd of the career, to guide India to 279 for seven. Coming on to bat in the fourth ball of the innings, Kohli played aggressively and scored 120 off 125 balls to guide India’s innings. He hit 14 boundaries and one six during his elegant knock.
Besides Kohli, Shreyas Iyer (71 off 68) struck third half-century of his career and together with his skipper shared 125 runs for the fourth wicket to take India to a comfortable position.
But it was far from rosy for India at the start as after opting to bat, they lost Shikhar Dhawan in the third ball of the innings, caught plumb in front of the wicket by Sheldon Cottrell. Then came in skipper Kohli and in the company of Rohit Sharma (18) played fluently to stabilise the Indian innings.
While Kohli looked in great nick from the onset, Rohit struggled to rotate the strike and played the second fiddle.
Kohli played some delightful shots through the covers and off his pads to register his 55th ODI fifty with an outside edge past West Indies keeper Shai Hope off Carlos Brathwaite (3/53) in the 15th over.
But Rohit’s struggle finally came to an end when he sliced a Roston Chase delivery to Nicholas Pooran, who took a fine catch at point while running backwards. The duo shared 74 runs for the second wicket off 90 balls.
Rishabh Pant made 20 off 35 balls with the help of two boundaries before inexperience did him in.
Bogged down by 12 dots off 14 balls, an inexperienced Pant went for an ugly slog across the line over midwicket off Brathwaite only to find his timbers disturbed as India were reduced to 101 for 3.
Kohli and Iyer then played aggressively and milked the West Indian bowlers to keep the scoreboard ticking. The duo rotated the strike and found the fence when bad deliveries were on offer.
But hot and humid conditions got the better of Kohli in the 42nd over as the Indian skipper played a tired-looking shot only to be holed by Kemar Roach at long-off off Brathwaite.
Iyer played a good knock before some brilliant bowling from West Indies skipper Jason Holder got the better of him. Iyer was bowled around his legs as he went across the stumps for an extravagant shot. He hit five boundaries and one six during his knock.
But West Indies came back strongly in the last 10 overs to peg back the Indians with some clever bowling display.