New Delhi: A century from skipper Virat Kohli was followed by a disciplined bowling performance from India, particular Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/31), as they ran out victors in the second one-day international against West Indies.
Kohli’s World Cup campaign saw five consecutive fifties, but the regular sight of him converting to a ton escaped the tournament. Having elected to bat, India’s skipper was masterful in Trinidad, reaching three figures for the 42nd time in the international 50-over format – he now trails Sachin Tendulkar by only seven in the ODI tons list.
While Shikhar Dhawan departed for two and Rohit Sharma mustered 18, as is the case with India’s top order, someone always seems to step up. Kohli oozed control across his innings and his most impressive partner was Shreyas Iyer, who struck a 68-ball 71.
From 101/3, the pair put up 125 from 115 balls, Kohli a delight to watch when flicking the ball through the leg-side and Iyer showing plenty of maturity in just his sixth ODI innings, one that featured five fours and one maximum. India’s skipper was at another level, though; he hit 14 boundaries and cleared the rope with a straight six off Jason Holder.
Kohli fell to Carlos Brathwaite, the most impressive West Indies bowler on show, for 120. But by then, he’d already broken a number of records; Kohli is now the leading run-scorer in ODIs against West Indies and India’s second-highest run-getter in ODIs, having surpassed Sourav Ganguly.
With a brief rain delay interrupting proceedings, India’s batsmen were unable to gather momentum for a truly explosive end as they finished on 279/7.
Chris Gayle struggled once again, perishing for 11, but not before he surpassed Brian Lara to become West Indies’ leading run-scorer in ODIs, that too in his 300th appearance in the format.
Khaleel Ahmed bowled Shai Hope and at 55/2, the heavens opened up to lead to a rain delay. Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer remerged with an adjusted target of 270 needed from 46 overs.
A few boundaries from Hetmyer’s blade reignited the chase but a horribly-timed pull-shot saw a top-edge fly high and drop into the hands of Kohli.
Lewis – hobbling through his innings with an injury – reached fifty and put on 56 with Nicolas Pooran to keep West Indies ticking over. The opener was dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav, and India’s bowlers began to strangle the Windies batters. Kumar consequently intervened to give India complete control.
Pooran fell to the seamer as a pull shot failed to get the right contact, and three balls later, a leading-edge from Roston Chase’ bat saw Bhuneshwar leap to take a stunning return grab to further dampen West Indies’ cause.
West Indies wickets tumbled, and while Sheldon Cottrell struck some lusty blows, India ran out victors by 59 runs (DLS).