India claimed a seven-wicket triumph in the rain-interrupted second ODI against the West Indies in Port of Spain on Wednesday, with the tourists taking a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
The home side posted 240 for nine in their fifty overs, a total which should have been more after the solid start provided by Lendl Simmons and Ramnaresh Sarwan, who both hit half-centuries
The weather’s intervention midway through the Indian run-chase meant that the visitors’ target was adjusted to 183 from 38 overs, and with man-of-the-match Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel sharing a 120-run stand the tourists knocked off the runs with more than three overs to spare.
The Windies were full of positive intent after being made to bat first by opposition skipper Suresh Raina, and all of the top four made an impression before four wickets at the cost of just five runs saw the innings lose its impetus.
Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra triggered the Windies stutter with two wickets in as many balls before finishing with figures of four for 31, while seamer Munaf Patel claimed three for 35.
The tourists were unchanged for the second of the five-match series while the major news for the home side was the return of allrounder Kieron Pollard in place of Darren Bravo.
There was also a change in the Windies batting approach with a notable attacking intent to the play of openers Kirk Edwards and Simmons. The pair set the platform with a 57-run stand before Edwards became Mishra’s first victim, edging through to Patel behind the stumps for a breezy 25.
Simmons – who was caught off a no-ball with his score on 20 – then shared another half-century stand with Sarwan, batting at number three in the absence of Darren Bravo. Simmons looked to be reclaiming the form that he showed on Pakistan’s recent tour to the Caribbean and went to fifty from 80 deliveries. Shortly after however a rash charge down the track had him stumped off a leg side wide from Yusuf Pathan for 53.
The momentum was maintained by Marlon Samuels’ arrival. So often a slow starter, the 30-year-old immediately looked to up his scoring rate. He dominated a 51-run stand with Sarwan but, crucially, after hitting Pathan for a four and a six then went on the attack once too often to be stumped for 36.
That signalled a turning point in the innings as the home side fell from 175 for two to 197 for seven, with their batting powerplay yielding just 20 runs for the cost of four wickets.
Sarwan would reach his 37th ODI fifty before falling for 56, and Mishra then got into the act to remove fan favourite Pollard for nought before snaring an ineffective Dwayne Bravo and Carlton Baugh with consecutive deliveries.
Skipper Darren Sammy hit a valuable 22 from 19 deliveries – including two sixes – at the death while Ravi Rampaul weighed in with 14 to pull the hosts up to a moderately challenging total.
In the chase India lost Shikhar Dhawan in the third over of the innings, the left-hander cutting a Rampaul delivery straight to point where Pollard snaffled the chance.
After a patient rebuilding phase Kohli and Patel began to find their feet, Kohli farming the strike to reach his half-century first – from 78 deliveries – passing 2000 ODI runs in the process. The 22-year-old was fortunate to survive a chance off Devendra Bishoo’s bowling when his score was 38, Sammy putting down a sharp chance at slip.
There had been a number of brief rain-interruptions throughout the day, but with India on 100 for 1 after 22 overs, a cloud burst caught the ground staff unawares and subsequently the wet square kept the players off for an hour and a half as running repairs were made to the wicket.
After the break India’s target was revised to 183 runs from 37 overs, giving them 90 balls to achieve the 83 runs required.
Looking to up the tempo Patel quickly moved to his fifty – from just 57 deliveries – with a six over the leg side. The left-hander was then unlucky to get a faint tickle on an Anthony Martin delivery down the leg side, and Baugh took a tidy catch to send him on his way for 56.
Captain Raina joined Kohli at the crease and the pair blitzed 45 runs in less than five overs to all but finish off the game. Having reached 81 the right-hander tried one stroke too many and holed out to long off from Bishoo’s bowling.
Raina would finish unbeaten on 26 from just 19 deliveries as India romped to their victory target in 33.4 overs. Cricket365