India marched to another series win after beating West Indies by 44 runs in Ahmedabad to bag the second ODI of the three-match series. A collective effort from the Indian pacers helped knock over West Indies for 193 in 46 overs in a chase of 238 on Wednesday (February 9). It was India’s 11th consecutive bilateral ODI series win against West Indies and Rohit Sharma’s first as full-time ODI captain.
At the halfway stage, West Indies were the happier side after having restricted India to 237, but India chipped away at the wickets from the onset – some off good deliveries and some owing to West Indies’ batters’ poor shot selection. Falling behind the run-rate from very early in the game due to the wickets, West Indies needed someone to put their head down and bat their full quota of overs. However, it came down to the failing of the top order that couldn’t set a platform in a par chase even though there was a bit in the wicket for the seamers.
Prasidh Krishna struck with two wickets in seven balls with one maiden in two overs in the powerplay. His ability to extract extra bounce troubled the batsmen as West Indies were falling behind as the run-rate began mounting. The Indian seamers used the short ball effectively as West Indian batsmen perished trying to pull, only to hole out in the deep. Rohit Sharma was excellent with his bowling changes and field placements and dew didn’t play a major factor.
Shamarh Brooks kept West Indies in the chase even as West Indies lost half their side for jut 76 on the board with a handy 44. He threw his wicket away just as he was getting a move on. Krishna in his first spell had figures of 3-4 in five overs. Akeal Hosein kept India at bay with a brilliant 34 down the order, but too much was left for the last two wickets as West Indies fell short. That said, Odean Smith hit two sixes off Shardul Thakur to keep West Indies alive, with a late 20-ball 24-run cameo but fittingly Krishna picked up the final wicket to finish with figures of 4-12 in 9 overs.
While India were kept down to a reasonable total, at one stage when KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav were in the middle en route their 91-run stand, they looked set to get at least 250-270 with the pair switching gears gradually. However, West Indies struck back with timely wickets and didn’t let India’s batters get away. The vsitors started strongly after opting to bowl and got the in-form Rohit Sharma in the third over. Rishabh Pant was promoted to the opening spot but couldn’t quite take off the way he would’ve hoped. Smith, who replaced Kieron Pollard in the XI after the regular skipper was carrying a niggle, levied a double blow as both Pant and Virat Kohli departed in the same over to peg India back.
West Indies made the most of the extra bounce and seam movement in the wicket that had quite a bit of grass on it. The seamers bowled into the wicket and were rewarded too. India wouldn’t have even gotten to 240 had Shai Hope held on to a straightforward chance off Kemar Roach’s bowling, dropping Rahul. He was struggling to get going having scored just 4 in 20 balls when he got an outside edge off a tentative poke. Rahul and Suryakumar thereafter made West Indies pay for it with a fifty-plus stand as they kept West Indies at bay. It took a run-out to break the stand that was growing strength to strength when Rahul departed for 49 with the momentum just about shifting as the pair had scored 66 runs in 58 balls before that.
Suryakumar, however, went on to get a fifty – a good knock under pressure. He became the first player to cross 30 in each of his first six ODI innings and kept India afloat with a useful 33-run stand with Washington Sundar (24). Deepak Hooda chipped in with some handy runs (29) and even as India fell shy of a big total, their bowlers stepped up to hand them a series win.
Brief scores: India 237/9 in 50 overs (KL Rahul 49, Suryakumar Yadav 64, Deepak Hooda 29; Alzarri Joseph 2-36, Odean Smith 2-29) beat West Indies 193 in 46 overs (Shai Hope 27, Shamarh Brooks 44, Akeal Hosein 34; Shardul Thakur 2-41, Prasidh Krishna 4-12) by 44 runs.