A measured 103 from Ajinkya Rahane, who finally got the opportunity to open the innings for India again after warming the bench in the recently concluded Champions Trophy 2017, helped India take series lead courtesy a 105-run win over West Indies in the second ODI at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on Sunday (June 25).
India put on 310-5 (43 overs) after being sent in by Windies under conditions that didn’t turn out to be as testing as expected. Rahane first forged an 114-run opening union with Shikhar Dhawan (63), who scored a yet another fifty to continue his excellent run in 50-over cricket, before he was joined by skipper Virat Kohli for another 97 runs. Kohli helped himself to an effortless 87 off 66, with his last 50 runs coming off in just 25 balls.
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India capitalized on some off-the-radar bowling by the West Indies’ bowlers late in the innings, scoring 99 in the last nine overs in a rain-curtailed encounter.
In sharp contrast to India’s start, West Indies lost Kieran Powell and Jason Mohammed before they could score their first run off the bat, both accounted by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Despite opener Shai Hope showing his caliber with a gritty 81(88), West Indies never really threatened to chase their target, as they could only manage 205 in their allotted 43 overs.
Roston Chase (33) made the second highest contribution with the bat, coming at number 7, but the match was as good as over by then.
Kumar claimed returned figures of 2-9 in his five overs, while Kuldeep Yadav — bowling for the first time in ODIs — finished with figures of 3-50.
The third ODI is scheduled at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Friday.
India 310 for 5 (Ajinkya Rahane 103, Virat Kohli 87, Shikhar Dhawan 63) beat West Indies 205 for 6 (Shai Hope 81, Kuldeep Yadav 3-50, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-9) by 105 runs
“It was a complete performance again. The partnership between Ajinkya and Shikhar was outstanding, and myself at the back end, with Yuvi, MS and Kedar chipping in. Early wickets for Bhuvi, and really happy for Kuldeep as well, bowling for the first time and taking three wickets. The bench strength has always been right up there for us. Jinks couldn’t get a game in the Champions Trophy unfortunately, but shows his mental strength, steps in and scores runs. We’ll sit down and decide as a team about changes that can be made [when asked about Pant]. We’ll go to Antigua and regroup, and that’s a possibility as well, give a few guys an opportunity.” Virat Kohli, captain India, said.
“We didn’t really bowl that well. We didn’t close out the innings well, and we didn’t have momentum going at the start of our chase. I thought we were tight to their openers, but Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane are quality players, they played some good shots, beat the infield. Today I probably struggled a little with the wet ball [the high full-tosses]. I thought Shai played really well, he showed good intent, and got good support from Evin Lewis. Good to see Roston Chase coming in at the end and getting some runs as well.” Jason Holder, captain West Indies, said.