A stupendous century from skipper Virat Kohli followed by a clinical spell of fast bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India register a comprehensive 59-run victory (DLS method) over West Indies in a rain-affected second ODI at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Chasing 280 on Sunday, West Indies were bowled out for 210 in 42 overs as India took an unassailable 1-0 victory in the three-match rubber.
The chief tormentor for Windies turned out to be Kumar who continued his love affair with the Queen’s Park Oval by picking up 4/31 in his allotted eight overs.
Opener Evin Lewis (65) and Nicholas Pooran (42) played substantial knocks and kept the hosts in the hunt. However, once India got their wickets, it turned out to be a difficult task for the Jason Holder-led side who felt short of the target by a substantial margin.
Earlier, Kohli, who was unable to score a single ton in the World Cup, made sure he didn’t let the opportunity slide away from him as he scored his 42nd ODI century. The Indian run-machine ended his five-month drought for an ODI hundred with a classy ton during which he also went past Sourav Ganguly on the list of most runs scored in ODIs.
Kohli (120) shared a 125-run stand with Shreyas Iyer who played a gritty knock of 71 and made sure India get to a formidable total on a rather difficult pitch.
Chasing 280, West Indies needed their star performer Chris Gayle to blast in his record breaking 300th ODI appearance. However, it didn’t happen as Gayle scored just 11 runs before he was trapped in front by Kumar. During the course of his 24-ball inning, the 39-year-old however went past Brian Lara’s record for the most runs by West Indies batsman in ODIs. After his wicket, Shai Hope also perished cheaply before rain caused a brief interruption.
Following the resumption, the hosts were set a Duckworth Lewis and Stern (DLS) target of 270 in 46 overs.
West Indies did appear to be course of chasing the target for brief periods when Lewis, in the company of Shimron Hetmyer and then with Pooran, hit the ball cleanly and took the Indian bowlers to the cleaners. However, Kumar dented Windies’ chase by picking up wickets at regular intervals and made sure the Men in Blue didn’t lose the ODI series following their 3-0 triumph in the T20Is.
Kohli was adjudged the Player of the Match for his brilliant 120-run knock which consisted of 14 fours and a six.
The two teams will now lock horns with each other in the third and final ODI at the same venue on Wednesday before beginning their World Test Championship campaign from August 22 in Antigua.
Brief scores: India 279/7 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 120, Carlos Brathwaite 3/53) bt West Indies 210 all out in 42 overs (Evin Lewis 65, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4/31)