Visakhapatnam: Hat-trick hero Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami backed the efforts of the Indian batsmen as the hosts beat West Indies by 107 runs in the second ODI that was played at the VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. India have thus leveled the three-match series 1-1 and the decisive third ODI will be held in Cuttack on Sunday.
The West Indies were set a target of 389 by India with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul scoring centuries as part of a 227-run opening stand. The visitors started the chase well with a 61-run stand between Shai Hope and Evin Lewis. Shardul Thakur got the breakthrough off the last ball of the 11th over with Lewis mistiming a pull right down the throat of Shreyas Iyer.
Shimron Hetmyer, who scored 139 in the previous match, replaced Lewis but his stay didn't last long primarily thanks to a brilliant fielding effort from Shreyas. He first stopped the ball from racing to the boundary in extraordinary fashion, tumbled over the ropes and recovered before gathering the ball and completing a gun throw to the non-striker's end. Jadeja, who was bowling the over, collected the throw and whipped away the bails promptly to complete the run-out. Hetmyer could only make four runs off seven balls.
Jadeja then dismissed Roston Chase with a nearly unplayable delivery in his next over. However, Nicholas Pooran then played a counter-attacking innings to shift the balance in favour of the visitors. With a solid Hope holding up one end, Pooran went after the Indian bowlers.
The pair put up 106 runs for the fourth wicket, most of which were scored by Pooran. He went after India's wicket-taking bowlers and momentarily put West Indies on cruise mode. However, Mohammed Shami effected a turnaround in the 30th over with consecutive wickets.
He first managed to get a top edge off Pooran after which the ball ballooned up in the air. Kuldeep made no mistake with the catch and Pooran had to walk having made 75 runs off 47 balls. Shami then got West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard off the very next ball. Earlier, Pollard's counterpart Virat Kohli had been dismissed for a golden duck too, thus making this the first time in an ODI that the captains of both teams had been dismissed off the first ball they faced.
Shami did not get a hat-trick but that is exactly what Kuldeep ended up doing two overs later. The first man to fall was Hope, who went for a sweep off the third ball of the over hoping to get it over the boundary but Indian captain Virat Kohli caught it right at the edge of the boundary. He walked on 78 off 85 balls.
Kuldeep then deceived Jason Holder in flight with a googly. The all-rounder missed it altogether and dragged his feet out of the crease. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was alert to it and knocked off the bails while Holder's foot was still in the air.
Kuldeep then bowled a wrong'un from around the stumps towards new batsman Alzarri Joseph. The ball took a thick outside edge and Kedar Jadhav did well to hold on to it at second slip.
Keemo Paul anchored the tail and fell four runs short of his maiden ODI fifty to a Mohammed Shami yorker which marked the end of the West Indies innings. Paul shared a 50-run stand for the ninth wicket with Khary Pierre and added 20 for the last wicket.
Earlier, Rohit and Rahul's massive opening stand was backed up by an astonishing late assault from Pant and Shreyas. While Rahul (102) was dismissed in the same over that he raised his hundred, Rohit carried on and looked primed for a record-extending fourth ODI double ton. However, he fell on 159 to Sheldon Cottrell in the 44th over.
That was only the start of the pain for West Indies however as Pant came in and made his intentions clear with a six off the second ball he faced. He hit another six two balls later and then a single to take strike as Cottrell came back for the 46th over.
Pant hit two sixes and three fours in that over, thus taking 24 runs off it. Iyer gave Chase an even worse pasting in the next, smashing four sixes and a four. 31 runs were scored off the 47th.
Pant was dismissed in the next over and Iyer after that while Kedar Jadhav hit three fours off the last one as India just failed to cross the 400-run mark.
Brief scores: India 387/5 (Rohit Sharma 159, KL Rahul 102; Sheldon Cottrell 2/83) vs West Indies 280 (Shai Hope 78, Nicholas Pooran 75; Mohammed Shami 3/39)