Indian skipper Virat Kohli
Indian skipper Virat Kohli

Pune ODI: Despite Kohli’s heroics, Windies maul India

ANI | Updated: Oct 27, 2018 22:11 IST

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], Oct 27 (ANI): A resurgent West Indies team handed India a crushing 43-run drubbing at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Saturday.
Apart from Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who hammered a scintillating 107, none of the other batsmen stood their ground as the Windies bowlers ran roughshod over the Indian batting lineup.
Taking the center stage to chase a modest 284, Rohit Sharma (8) and Shikhar Dhawan (35) disappointed yet again with the middle-order facing the heat. West Indies skipper Jason Holder bowled an outswinger which got a meaty edge of Sharma’s bat and crashed into middle stump. The ruthless Virat stepped in next and along with Dhawan took the team to 90. However, Dhawan, who is weak against the off-spin, was caught plumb by Ashley Nurse.
Ambati Rayudu, who came out at number four, was comfortably timing the spinners and ticking the scoreboard. He was undone defending an Obed Mccoy bouncer on 22 and the Indian chase looked in trouble. Rishab Pant (24 off 18) stepped in next and started blasting the ball for boundaries. His attitude of going after every ball cost him his wicket, as an Ashley Nurse delivery touched the gloves and was collected by wicketkeeper Hope behind the stumps.
Now, the onus came on the experienced Mahendra Singh Dhoni to anchor the team. He tamely threw his wicket to skipper Holder for just 7 runs in 36th over while attempting to cut the ball and handing a simple catch to the wicketkeeper. At this point, the Indian side was reeling at 194 for the loss of 5 wickets.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar joined forces with Kohli and was successful in doing his job of rotating a strike. In the last 10 overs, India required another 69 runs. But fall of Kumar in the 41st over started a domino effect which saw Kohli along with the entire team wrapping up for 240.
Earlier, the West Indies top-order failed to fire yet again against pace and the middle-order succumbed to spin. The Windies were staring down at the barrel with half of the skittled for just 121 in 24 overs. Shai Hope, who had changed the script in the previous match hitting a last-ball four and giving his team a crucial draw, emulated the feat yet again smashing a calculated 95. Tailender Ashley Nurse also provided some fireworks late into the innings, eventually propelling the team to a respectable total of 283, only 12 short of the average first-innings score in Pune.
Hope, who entered after the dismissal of opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, found little support from the experienced lot of Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels as Jasprit Bumrah — India's best bowler returning figures of 4 for 35 — and Khaleel Ahmed reduced the visitors to 55 for 3 in the 14th over.
Shimron Hetmyer came to the rescue and along with Hope, added 56 runs in 45 deliveries for the fourth wicket. Hetmyer's failed slog-sweep attempt resulted in Dhoni's 114th stumping and the visitors were once again pegged back.
Kuldeep Yadav broke the partnership, luring Hetmyer with a fuller delivery. 
While Hetmyer batted with Hope during their fourth-wicket stand of 56, reverberating shades of their 144-run partnership in Visakhapatnam, Hetmyer found his range early, depositing Yuzvendra Chahal for two sixes and Kuldeep for another. But once he fell for 37 - his lowest score of the series - India could breathe easy again.
Hope then took charge of the proceedings and when Khaleel returned for his third spell in the 33rd over, Hope compiled yet another fine half-century.
With Jason Holder at the other end, Hope accelerated towards the back end helping West Indies push towards the 200-run mark that had looked challenging when they were five down for 121. The partnership was shattered in the 39th over when Holder chipped Bhuvneshwar Kumar to the fielder Ravindra Jadeja at long-off.
Chahal then joined in on the wickets and sent debutant Fabian Allen packing. Bumrah then bowled Hope, who was playing on 95.
In the end, Kemar Roach and Nurse added 56 runs off 36 balls - including three sixes, five fours, and plenty of slogs - to give West Indies a late boost.
With the win, West Indies have leveled the five-match ODI series. (ANI)

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