by Elton Gomes
India skipper Virat Kohli’s 38th ODI ton went in vain as a disciplined West Indies side came back strongly to win the third One-day International by 43 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, on Saturday.
Chasing a healthy 284, India were poised for a win, with Kohli scoring an excellent 107 off 119 balls. Opener Shikhar Dhawan scored a dismal 35, before the Indian middle order collapsed. India was bowled out for 240 in 47.4 overs.
West Indies were able to reach 283 due to Shai Hope’s second-consecutive fifty-plus score and a 22-ball 40 from Ashley Nurse. West Indies were 55 for 3 at one point, and Hope managed to get some runs on the board before the team stumbled again at 121 for 5.
But Hope managed to stand his ground , and seemed comfortable against both pace and spin in warm Pune conditions. Hope gave his team a promising score at the end of 50 overs.
Jasprit Bumrah was the best among the Indian bowlers. He returned to the team after being rested in Guwahati and Visakhapatnam, and collected a four-wicket haul at an economy rate of 3.50. Bumrah was instrumental in restricting West Indies to under 300 for the first time in this series.
Shimron Hetmyer and Hope managed to add 56 runs for the fourth wicket. Just when the partnership was settling, Hetmyer tried to go big but missed the ball completely. Mahendra Singh Dhoni made no mistake in dislodging his bails, and West Indies were 111/4. Skipper Jason Holder was then involved in a crucial 76-run partnership with Hope.
Chasing 284 for victory, Kohli’s 107 off 119 balls had kept India in the hunt but Kohli barely had any support and was dismissed by Marlon Samuels in the 42nd over, which ended the contest.
Samuels turned out to be in his best form, with his off-spinners, returning figures of 3/12 while skipper Jason Holder, Obed McCoy, and Ashley Nurse picked two wickets each.
West Indies is an explosive side: Virat Kohli
Kohli once again led from the front for his side but a lack of support at the crease saw India losing the match. The 5-match series now stands level at 1-1 as a result.
“We couldn’t get partnerships, which doesn’t happen often. We were fine on the field. We didn’t execute our plans properly. West Indies is an explosive side, capable of beating anyone on their day, and they deserved to win,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation, India Today reported.
Kohli refused to blame his bowlers, who ended up giving too many runs in the death overs: “We bowled well, the wicket wasn’t offering much in the first 35 overs. In the later half, it became difficult. We should’ve been chasing 250-260, max, but that apart the bowling was fine. Just that we gave away a little in the last 10 overs and should’ve closed it out better.”
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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