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India outwit Windies to level ODI series

India’s Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul run between the wickets during the 2nd ODI against West Indies at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam, on Wednesday. – PTI
 VISAKHAPATNAM, Dec 18: Rohit Sharma captivated with his languid brilliance in company of an equally graceful KL Rahul before Kuldeep Yadav topped it up with a hat-trick in India’s series-levelling 107-run victory against the West Indies in the second one-dayer here on Wednesday.

 The Indian vice-captain hit his 28th ODI hundred – 159 off 138 balls – and added 227 for the opening stand with fellow centurion Rahul (102 off 104 balls) as India put up an imposing 387 for 5 in 50 overs.

Rishabh Pant (39 off 16 balls) and Shreyas Iyer’s (53 off 32 balls) thoroughly entertaining 72-run stand in only four overs also provided the impetus required during a final flourish.

In reply, the West Indies, who looked good at 192 for 3 in the 30th over, were bowled out for 280 in 43.3 overs.

It was Mohammed Shami (3/39 in 7.3 overs), who removed the dangerous Nicholas Pooran (75 off 47 balls) and skipper Keiron Pollard (0) off successive deliveries to spark a West Indies collapse.

Kuldeep (3/52 in 10 overs) then removed the dogged Shai Hope (78 off 85 balls), Jason Holder (11) and Alzarri Joseph (0) off successive deliveries to seal the issue in favour of India. This was his second hat-trick in ODIs. He became the first Indian player to claim two hat-tricks in international cricket.

On a shirtfront of a track, West Indies was never going to make a comeback after losing five wickets for 18 runs and it was only a matter of time before India ended their four-match losing streak at home. The decider will now be played at Cuttack on December 22.

Rohit, as usual, batted at his own pace and looked like the bandmaster of an orchestra, who made the Caribbean bowlers dance to his tune.

Sheldon Cottrell (2/83 in 9 overs) was punished with such ferocity that he didn’t have energy to do a customary ‘Cottrell Salute’ once Iyer was out and it was more or less similar for all others like Alzarri Joseph (0/68 in 9 overs) and Keemo Paul (0/62 in 9 overs).

It was also a perfect demonstration on how to press the accelerator in this format – first 50 off 67, the next off 40 balls and the last off only 25.

The innings had 17 boundaries and five sixes and Rohit played the same shot again and again. It was a swivel off his hips between fine leg and deep fine leg to rising deliveries.

The West Indies bowlers were wary of pitching it up to him fearing his drives but ended up bowling short on the hips and the Indian gleefully played the shot again and again.



Rohit Sharma c S Hope b Cottrell 159

KL Rahul c Roston Chase b A Joseph 102

Virat Kohli c Roston Chase b Pollard 0

Shreyas Iyer c S Hope b Cottrell 53

Rishabh Pant c Pooran b K Paul 39

Kedar Jadhav not out 16

Ravindra Jadeja not out 0

Extras: (B-1, LB-3, W-13,NB-1) 18

Total: (for 5 wickets in 50 overs) 387

Fall of wickets: 1-227, 2-232, 3-292, 4-365, 5-373.

Bowling: Sheldon Cottrell 9-0-83-2, Jason Holder 9-0-45-0, Khary Pierre 9-0-62-0, Keemo Paul 7-0-57-1, Alzarri Joseph 9-1-68-1, Roston Chase 5-0-48-0, Kieron Pollard 2-0-20-1.

West Indies

Evin Lewis c Shreyas Iyer b SN Thakur 30

Shai Hope c Kohli b Kuldeep Yadav 78

Shimron Hetmyer run out 4

Roston Chase b Ravindra Jadeja 4

Nicholas Pooran c Kuldeep b Shami 75

Kieron Pollard c Pant b Shami 0

Jason Holder st Pant b Kuldeep Yadav 11

Keemo Paul b Shami 46

Alzarri Joseph c Kedar b Kuldeep Yadav 0

Khary Pierre c Kohli b Ravindra Jadeja 21

Sheldon Cottrell not out 0

Extras: (B-1, LB-2, W-8) 11

Total: (For 10 wkts, 43.3 overs) 280

Fall of wickets: 61-1, 73-2, 86-3, 192-4, 192-5, 210-6, 210-7, 210-8, 260-9, 280-10.

Bowling: Deepak Chahar 7-1-44-0, Shardul Thakur 8-0-55-1, Mohammed Shami 7.3-0-39-3, Ravindra Jadeja 10-0-74-2, Kuldeep Yadav 10-0-52-3, Shreyas Iyer 1-0-13-0. – PTI

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