India vs West Indies: Despite Kohli, Hope tons, Vizag ODI ends in heart-stopping tie (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)
In an amazing turnaround by West Indies, the 2nd ODI ended in a heart-stopping tie despite Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s 157-run blitzkrieg at Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.
After winning the toss, Kohli went against the trend to chose to bat first. Although India lost openers Rohit Sharma (4) and Shikhar Dhawan (29) early in the innings, Kohli and Ambati Rayudu (73) helped the hosts put a massive 321 runs at the scoreboard.
Rayudu, who, Kohli thinks, is the answer to India’s problem at number four slot, made fluent 73 off 80 balls and stitched an important 139-run partnership with the skipper. During his 157-run innings, Kohli sprinted to fastest 10,000 ODI runs and went past 1000 runs in the calendar year in only 11 innings.
Despite 321 runs on board, West Indies didn’t let the Indians single-handedly dominate the match and levelled the score, thanks to Shai Hope’s gutsy 123 not out and Shimron Hetmyer’s 94-run blitz.
Chasing India’s 321, Kieran Powell (18) and Chanderpaul Hemraj started West Indies innings on a positive note, hitting few quick boundaries. However, the joy was short-lived as Mohammed Shami removed Powell in sixth over of the innings.
After the first wickets, Shai Hope and Hemraj again started to build their innings but then Kohli introduced Kuldeep Yadav who, having missed the first ODI, delivered straightaway and foxed Hemraj. Soon, the chinaman scalped experienced Marlon Samuels to leave the visitors struggling at 78 for three in 12 overs.
Hope then ensued a 143-run partnership with first match’s centurion Hetmyer to help the Caribbeans sit in the driver’s seat. Although Hetmyer missed on his hundred but in his 94-run innings, he launched into the Indian spinners and rattled them with a flurry of sixes.
Hope, on the other end, kept rotating the strike to give Hetmyer more chances to dismantle the Indian attack. Chahal had the last laugh and removed Hetmyer to provide India with a much-needed breakthrough.
At one point, West Indies needed just 63 runs in the last 10 overs with five wickets in hand and Hope still at the crease. However, they could only finish the game in a thrilling tie.