Softened by dew, slaughtered by Sammy - The New Indian Express

Softened by dew, slaughtered by Sammy

Published: 25th November 2013 11:40 AM

Last Updated: 25th November 2013 01:10 PM

In a contest that went to the wire, the West Indies halted India’s winning streak at YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium with a two-wicket win to level the three-match series one-all on Sunday.

The match slipped away from India as Darren Sammy took the bull by its horns to take the team to a well-deserved victory.

Virat Kohli was not lucky the third time in the City of Destiny. After slamming centuries in his earlier two matches here, the 25-year-old was out for 99 but his knock helped India post 288. The Indian bowlers met adverse conditions in the form of dew. In pursuit of a challenging target, the West Indies sneaked home with three balls to spare.

It was Kohli, who shone in the first session. Having made 118 against Australia in 2010 and 117 against the West Indies a year later, he stroked fluently and was unfortunate to miss his 18th ODI century.

Winning a crucial toss, the West Indies captured a prize scalp in the fifth over when Ravi Rampaul induced an edge from the in-form Rohit Sharma. The attack was steady but Shikhar Dhawan slammed five fours in his 37-ball 35 with the first one bringing up his 1000 runs in 2013. The left-hander was undone by left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul.

Kohli continued his dream run. He completed his 50 off 59 balls with a delicate shot to third-man off Sammy. But Sammy smelt success in his first over by dismissing Yuvraj Singh, who lobbed a simple catch to short mid-wicket. Suresh Raina disappointed again. Let off on 13 with Kieran Powell grassing a sitter at short fine-leg off Lendl Simmons, the left-hander could not capitalise.

In the 40th over, Kohli made his first and only error when he hooked Rampaul but the ball flew to fine-leg where Jason Holder took a brilliant catch, diving forward. The stadium was stunned and Kohli had to go. Mahendra Singh Dhoni then showed why he is so good in the end overs. He raced to a 40-ball 51, including two sixes off Rampaul. India rattled up 62 runs in the last five overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar  sent back Johnson Charles in the third over, taking a fine return catch with the ball flying into his ribs. Standing up against Mohit Sharma, Dhoni plucked a sharp catch to send back Marlon Samuels.

The left-handed pair of Powell, who came in place of the injured Chris Gayle, and Darren Bravo were involved in a rollicking stand of 100 off 98 deliveries.

Fortune smiled on the elegant Bravo, who was dropped by Dhoni and then by Raina at slip. Bravo got another life when Mohammed Shami failed to latch on to a sharp return catch.

The bowlers were hard-pressed because of the wet ball. Under the circumstances, Ashwin bowled splendidly. Bowling with guile and a lot of variation, he grabbed the wicket of Powell by having him stumped. For the other bowlers, it was misery all around as they found it difficult to grip the wet ball.

Lendl Simmons (62) and Sammy swung the momentum in their team’s favour with an 82-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Sammy played a cavalier knock. There were a few anxious moments when Simmons and Sunil Narine fell in the 48th over but in the end, it was not India’s evening.

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