India beat West Indies by 48 runs in the second ODI to level the five-match ODI series 1-1. Defending 263 runs, Amit Mishra (2/40), Ravindra Jadeja (3/44) and Mohammad Shami (4/36) turned the game around for the hosts after Dwayne Smith had the tourists off to a good start. (Also Read: Death bowling - Mohammad Shami’s new forte)
Chasing India’s 263, the visitors cruised along smoothly till the half way mark until Mishra pulled the breaks with the wicket of Kieron Pollard to leave WI on 136/2. From there on the visitors innings wavered, as Marlon Samuels was tied down by the bowler. And once Smith (97) departed, wickets fell at regular intervals. With Ravindra Jadeja dealing a double blow in the 43rd over, WI slumped to 199/7 as India seized the advantage. West Indies then got bowled out for 215. (Also Read: Shami becomes the first Indian bowler to claim 4 four-wicket hauls in a calendar year)
In the absence of Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo opened the innings for WI with Dwayne Smith and helped the visitors 64 before he was castled by Mohammad Shami. Kieron Pollard walked in at No. 3 and took the innings forward with Smith.
With runs trickling in steadily the visitors were in an advantageous position. The pair plucked runs off the spinners as well. Pollard hit Jadeja over mid-wicket for six early in his innings and later smacked Mishra over long-off; the leg-spinner had been lofted over the boundary by Smith. The Indian leg-spinner came back well to dislodge Pollard’s bails. With the team comfortably placed on 136/2, Samuels joined Smith in the middle.
Smith was nearing his maiden ODI century but fell three runs short when he found his stumps disrupted by Shami with a delivery that angled in.
In his last over Mishra induced an outside edge from Denesh Ramdin and Raina took the catch diving to his right. Jadeja then had Andre Russell stumped six runs later. And four balls later he bowled Darren Sammy.
In the next over the WI captain walked back after hitting Shami to Dhawan at long-off. With the opposition on 199/8, India were firmly in the driver’s seat. Taylor was Jadeja’s third scalp in the next over while Shami ended the game with the wicket of Rampaul.
Earlier, kept on their toes by the West Indies new ball bowlers, India got off to a sluggish start at the Feroze Shah Kotla after opting to bat first. Left on 74/3 in the 18th over, the hosts were lifted to a respectable score by half-centurions Virat Kohli (62 off 78), Suresh Raina (62 off 60) and MS Dhoni (51* off 40).
However, before Raina and Kohli set up the foundation for a good total, the Indian top-order had been kept on a tight leash by WI. An incoming delivery from Jerome Taylor knocked back Shikhar Dhawan’s off-stump in the second over of the day to deal the first blow. Then, given Virat Kohli’s lack of runs in the recent past, Ambati Rayudu was promoted to the No. 3 position. Although the batsman firmly struck Ravi Rampaul for two boundaries, the Caribbean bowlers were difficult to get away as they induced edges and asked questions off the batsmen. With their ability to swing the ball, Rampaul and Taylor maintained a stranglehold on the hosts’ innings.
Sulieman Benn and Dwayne Bravo too bowled tight spells, and Darren Sammy, replacing the captain, accounted for Ajinkya Rahane. The opener hit a slower delivery from the bowler to cover and departed for 12. Rayudu was the next to return to the dressing room. Sammy snapped a good catch at first slip as a Benn delivery took an edge and flew towards the slips.
The home team had trudged on until Raina joined Kohli to inject life into the innings. The pair kept the score board ticking with their quick running between the wickets. And while Raina was the more aggressive of the duo, Kohli too gained in confidence as they inched towards their respective half-centuries. With a single to third man Raina posted his 30th ODI half-century and Kohli soon followed suit. Pushing Rampaul to mid-wicket Kohli brought up his carefully compiled 31st ODI fifty in the first over of batting poweplay. And a couple of balls later, Raina struck the bowler over extra cover for six to bring up 100 of the partnership.
However, in the following over Raina perished hitting Taylor to Pollard at deep mid-off ending the partnership for 105. 17 runs later Samuels took a good catch at the edge of long off to send back Kohli. Ravindra Jadeja’s troublesome time at the crease was soon ended by Taylor.
But the Indian captain took the team to a par score. In a 29 run-stand with the skipper, Bhuvneshwar Kumar added some runs. Dhoni smashed Taylor for 15 runs off the last over including a straight six into the stands and a boundary to fine leg.
India 263 for 7 West Indies 215
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