India ease to victory over West Indies

Half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel followed up Amit Mishra’s career-best bowling to lead India to a seven-wicket victory over West Indies in the rain-affected second one-day international on Wednesday.

Kohli struck six fours and one six in 81 from 103 balls to earn man of the match, and Patel made 56 from 64 deliveries, as the Indians, chasing a revised target of 183 from 37 overs due to rain, reached their target with 20 balls remaining.

India captain Suresh Raina clinched victory, when he steered a delivery from Ravi Rampaul wide of point for two runs.

India now lead the five-match series 2-0, following a four-wicket victory in the first ODI two days ago at the same venue.

“It was another good performance, especially Amit Mishra, who was unbelievable, when he bowled in the Power Play,” said Raina.

Mishra had upstaged half-centuries from Lendl Simmons and Ramnaresh Sarwan, triggering a batting collapse with a career-best spell, as West Indies posted 240 for nine from their allocation of 50 overs.

Mishra captured four for 31 from his allotment of 10 overs, as the Windies collapsed dramatically from a comfortable 175 for two in the 36th before the hosts’ captain Darren Sammy added some late order runs.

On the backfoot
Munaf Patel bagged three for 35 from 10 overs, and Yusuf Pathan took two for 51 from eight overs to play their part in destabilising the West Indies’ batting.

“We got ourselves into a good position, but we did not capitalise on it in the end,” said Sammy. “Again, we were about 30 runs short.”

India suffered an early setback, when Shikhar Dhawan was caught at square cover off Ravi Rampaul for three in the third over.

But a second wicket stand of 120 between Kohli and Patel put India firmly on track, enduring two stoppages for rain.

Patel was caught behind down the leg-side off leg-spinner Anthony Martin in the 27th over, and Kohli was caught at long-off off Devendra Bishoo, the other West Indies leggie, in the 31st over.

Earlier, India were on the backfoot when the West Indies benefited from three straight half-century stands.

Sarwan’s 56 off 90 balls was the top score, and Simmons’ supported with 53 from 84 deliveries.

But five wickets — three to Mishra — fell for 22 in the space of 47 deliveries before Sammy struck one four and two sixes in 22 from 19 balls to push West Indies to a respectable total.

India’s new-ball pair of Praveen Kumar and Patel failed to make the early breakthrough, but Mishra had opener Kirk Edwards caught behind for 25 in the 13th over, leaving West Indies 57 for one.

The Indians continued to find wickets hard to come, as Sarwan joined Simmons, and they added 67 for the second wicket.

A backfoot drive off Pathan for a single carried Simmons to his 50 from 76 balls, but the off-spinner had the West Indies opener stumped in the 27th over.

A short delivery from Kumar was pulled over mid-wicket to usher Sarwan to his 50 from 80 balls, but he miscued a pull at a high full toss from Patel, and was caught at deep backward square leg in the 41st over.

The drama then began to unfold, when Mishra trapped Kieron Pollard lbw for a duck, getting down on one knee and trying to sweep in the 42nd over, and in his next over, the portly Indian leg-spinner struck twice.

Mishra had Dwayne Bravo caught at long-off for eight, and bowled Carlton Baugh Jr for two to leave West Indies 197 for seven in the 44th over.

But India let West Indies off the hook, when Ravi Rampaul joined Sammy and they pushed the home team past their best total on home soil this season in a stand of 31 for the eighth wicket before Patel struck twice in his final over.

The beanpole fast-medium bowler had Rampaul caught at mid-wicket for 14, and Devendra Bishoo caught behind for a duck.

The third ODI will be played on June 11 at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua. — AFP

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