#KingKohli struck 157*, becomes the fastest to reach 10,000 runs; Hope and Hetmyer score 123* and 94 to guide WI to a thrilling draw
It rarely happens that two teams put up one of their best performances and still return unhappy and disappointed. Well, that is exactly what happened in the second ODI between India and West Indies. Both the sides saw their batsmen perform brilliantly, but still not enough to edge each other out.
It perfectly seemed to be Virat Kohli’s evening. The fastest batsmen to reach the 10,000 ODI runs milestone, with 5th ODI hundred of 2018, 2th in the series and 37th overall. The daunting target of 322 that he thus helped India achieve, seemed too much for the visitors, especially considering their meek performances in this tour.
However, the fans gathered at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Cricket Stadium were in for a surprise. By the end of the second, both the teams shared the spoils equally.
Like the first ODI in Guwahati, India started the match in an awkward style, as it was Rohit Sharma who gave away his wicket to Kemar Roach relatively cheaply. The last match’s centurion got out for a paltry 4 runs.
Then in 9th over, they got hold of Shikhar Dhawan, who had seemed to settle in the match, for 29 runs. The scoreboard now read 40/2 and the Carribean players sensed an opportunity to dismantle India’s batting lineup. However, in Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu, they hit a wall.
The day really did belong to Kohli. Coming at No.3, the Delhi batsmen starting steadily and oozed class with every stroke he played. The WI bowlers had a poor outing during their entire stay in India, and this match was no different.
Captain Jason Holder seemed to have run out of plans to curtail India’s batting masterclass. If you stop Sharma, Kohli rises up. If put Kohli down, you have Rayudu to take care of. Basically, how do you manage to contain a side with all its batsmen in blazing form of their careers?
Soon Kohli raced his way his second century. He became only the fifth Indian and 13th batsman overall to score 10,000 or more ODI runs. Virat had been in a stunning form in England, clinching the man-of-the-series award in the Test series.
He was provided with a much-deserved rest as his teammates scrapped it out in the Asia Cup in the UAE. On his comeback, however, Kohli was in his best form again, without letting the brief break hamper it. Such discipline and work-ethic are rarely seen in this era of multitudinous distractions.
In Guwahati, he had a fine 140 to his name as India chased down 323 with comfort. Three days on, he was still back at his business, scoring another hundred to dominate the West Indies attack. In fact, it is the seventh time in his career that he had scored back-to-back hundreds, a true epitome of his consistency.
Rayudu, on his part, did his best to support his captain with a confident half-century. He got out for 73 runs on a delivery by Nurse. MS Dhoni had another brief stay at the crease, scoring just 20 runs.
Rishabh Pant, who was playing his first ODI innings, showed promise with a quickfire 17. India ended the innings with a score of 321/6, with Kohli leading the tables with 157*.
India started well at the start of second innings. Pacer Mohammed Shami got rid of the dangerous Kieran Powell whereas Kuldeep Yadav struck in successive overs to send Chanderpaul Hemraj and Marlon Samuels back to the pavilion with almost unplayable deliveries. The writing, it felt, was on the wall for the Windies. India had three spinners and it was not going to be an easy night ahead.
But then, two young men on the pitch had other ideas. Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer came on to add a valuable 143 for the 4th wicket, as West Indies crawled towards the humongous total the Indians had set for them.
The later was impressive on Sunday and he was impressive in the Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam as well. Had it not been for Yuzvendra Chahal, who dismissed Hetmyer, the striking batsmen would have seen his second successive hundred in the series past India.
Shai Hope was solid as well and he Rovman Powell ’s company after Hetmyer got out. Powell, popular for his big-hitting antiques, was an ideal partner for a well-set batsman. And it looked like he would play his part with 18 quick runs. But then Kuldeep struck again.
In the end, it came down to 20 runs from the last two overs. The second last over was bowled brilliantly by Mohammed Shami, giving away just five runs. In the last over, Umesh Yadav had 14 runs to defend. He gave away 13 that included a final-ball boundary.
This proved to be the second tied ODI for India in 2018. Earlier, in the Asia Cup against Afghanistan, India was held to a draw by the gritty Afghans.
The two teams will now fly to Pune for the third ODI to be contested on Saturday, October 27