India beat West Indies to level series 1-1
New Delhi, October 11
West Indies committed hara-kiri after being in a commanding position for a better part of the chase, in pursuit of India’s modest total. Opener Dwayne Smith’s powerful hitting coupled with the ferocious long handle of Kieron Pollard carted the Indian bowlers to all parts and were cruising at one stage before Amit Mishra spun a web around the batsmen, coupled with Mohammed Shami’s superb return spell to clean up the middle order. The lower order provided as much resistance as a baddie in a badly made commercial potboiler as Ravindra Jadeja made light work of the lower order to take India to a comfortable win.Smith yet again showed what a devastating hitter of the ball he can be but it was not all about brute force alone. His burgeoning reputation as a T20 player has not taken away his ability to strike a balance between going for the big hits
Earlier in the day, Virat Kohli made a thumping return to form with cautiously constructed half-century helped India reach a total of 163 for seven. After a landslide defeat in the first ODI, Indians yet again got off to a terrible start with the openers failing yet again as Jerome Taylor’s pace rattled the batsmen early on and none of the batsmen really got going. MS Dhoni’s typical late cameo, scoring a solid unbeaten 51 ensured that Indian bowlers had a total to bowl against.
With the pitch offering some grip and on the slower side and it was Ambati Rayudu got off to a good start before falling cheaply to Sulieman Benn. Kohli then teamed up India’s saviour in recent times, Suresh Raina to construct the innings steadily. While the local boy was spending his time at the crease, Raina was his fluent self, striking the ball to the ropes with effortless ease.
The runs were not free-flowing but the strike was rotated and the camaraderie between the duo meant that India had every chance of accelerating towards the end and getting to 300. After both of them scored fifties, disaster struck and Raina played a needless shot under the circumstances and Taylor’s return spell did the trick for the West Indies.
Kohli didn’t last too long either and he wouldn’t get his three figure score here. Wickets fell quickly and Dhoni was running out of partners to launch one of his characteristic late boundary burst. Jadeja’s stay at the crease ended on a whimper. Dhoni, however soldiered on found the fence a few times and was ably supported by Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the death. Bhuvneshwar, typically put a hefty price tag on his wicket but the day belonged to the Indian bowlers who came together in an hour of crisis.