Axar Patel smashed a whirlwind unbeaten 35-ball 64, his maiden ODI fifty, as India scripted a sensational series-clinching two-wicket win over the West Indies in the second game on Sunday.
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Set a stiff target of 312, the visitors were down to 205 for five in 38.4 overs but Patel revived India’s chase with his six-hitting prowess to take the visitors home with two balls to spare on Sunday.
Needing six off last three balls, Patel clobbered Kyle Mayers straight over the bowler’s head for a six as India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Patel smashed five sixes and three fours in his unconquered innings and added 51 off 33 balls with Deepak Hooda (33) to keep India in the hunt. This was after Shreyas Iyer (63) and Sanju Samson (54) tried to take the chase deep with well-paced fifties.
Earlier, Shai Hope celebrated his 100th ODI with a cracking century at Queen's Park Oval. The 28-year-old's 115 runs off 135 balls helped the hosts post 311/6 in a must-win game.
The Windies captain Nicholas Pooran won the toss and opted to bat first against India. Both the sides have made one change each -- India handing ODI debut to pacer Avesh Khan, who replaced Prasidh Krishna, and the hosts bringing Hayden Walsh in for Gudakesh Motie.
The Windies got off to a very good start with Hope and Kyle Myers (39 off 23) posting 65 runs for the opening stand in 9.1 overs. Deepak Hooda broke the stand with his first ball, but Shamarh Brooks joined Hope and added 62 runs in 74 balls.
Axar Patel removed Brooks (35 off 36) in the 22nd over, and Yuzvendra Chahal got the wicket of Brandon King for a five-ball duck.
It was followed by a 117-run stand between Hope and Pooran (74 off 77) in 126 balls for the fourth wicket. Hope, who was playing his 100th ODI, reached the ton with a six off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 45th over, in 125 balls.
The right-handed batter thus became the tenth player to hit a century in his 100th match, after Gordon Greenidge, Chris Cairns, Mohammad Yousuf, Kumar Sangakkara, Chris Gayle, Marcus Trescothick, Ramnaresh Sarwan, David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan.
Dhawan utilised six bowlers and Shardul Thakur was India's most successful bowler. He claimed figures of 3/54 in seven wickets. Only Mohammed Siraj (0/47) got his 10 overs quota completed.
The first ODI witnessed 600+ runs as India won the match by three runs in a last-ball thriller after posting 308/7. Pooran, at the toss, said that "this is the same wicket from the last time, 250 should be a challenging score."
India captain Dhawan also said that "the pitch looks good, it started to come on nicely until the spin comes in." With this win, India sealed their 12th successive bilateral ODI series against the West Indies.
West Indies: Shai Hope (wk), Brandon King, Shamarh Brooks, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran (c), Rovman Powell, Akeal Hosein, Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales, Hayden Walsh.
India: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wk), Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan.