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Kohli, Bhuvneshwar take India one up in Trinidad

After getting no result out of the first ODI in Guyana, the second match was important to have an upper hand in the series. India ensured they get their noses ahead, courtesy of Virat Kohli’s 42nd ODI century and a fine show with the ball by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Rain interrupted the game, as the Windies innings was cut short by four overs in Trinidad on Sunday. However, the Men in Blue posted a 59-run victory by Duckworth-Lewis method over the hosts.

Winning the toss, India elected to bat. However, it was not the day for the openers as both Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were sent back quickly by Windies quickies Sheldon Cottrell and Roston Chase. With India reduced to 101 for 3 in 22.2 overs, skipper Kohli and Shreyas Iyer emerged saviours to build a substantial 125-run partnership. The Indian captain played an elegant knock, as Iyer too, batting for India for the first time since February 2018, showed his mettle in his third ODI half-century.

While the hosts dominated the first half of India’s innings, the partnership quickly revived the scoring rate and India looked set for a total over 300. Windies came back in the game in an impressive manner, sending both the set batsmen back in quick succession. Carlos Brathwaite got Kohli caught at long-off with a slower delivery, while Iyer got bowled for Jason Holder’s delivery, trying to execute a pre-determined shot.

Despite a few boundaries by Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja, Windies did not let the Indian lower-middle order settle down, and restricted the visitors at 279 for 7 at the end of their 50 overs. Brathwaite remained their most successful bowler with three scalps.

Chris Gayle, who was playing his 300th ODI for the Men in Maroon, did not have as special an outing as he would’ve fancied in his landmark game. Bhuvneshwar made sure the hosts did not form a strong opening partnership, getting Gayle lbw for a meagre 11. The batsman reviewed the decision only to lose their review and walk back, leaving Windies 45 for 1. The wicket triggered a few more, as Khaleel Ahmed struck quickly to get Shai Hope bowled.

After Hope’s departure, it started raining at the venue to stop play for half-an-hour. The target was then revised to 270 from 46 overs.

Though Hetmyer looked in good touch, hitting boundaries regularly after play resumed, he fell for Kuldeep Yadav’s turn. With him departing for 18, the Windies were left reeling at 92 for 3.

Amidst the landslide of wickets, opener Evin Lewis stood strong to anchor the innings, and he finally found the support at the other end in the form of Nicholas Pooran. The duo gradually stitched a crucial partnership, adding 50 runs. Lewis scored his sixth ODI fifty before Kohli’s one-handed stunner got him out off Kuldeep’s delivery. Pooran missed out on his fifty by eight runs, getting caught at mid-wicket off Bhuvneshwar’s short ball.

The Windies middle-order, henceforth, struggled to find runs, as Bhuvneshwar and Mohammed Shami cleared the tail quickly to wrap up the hosts for 210, with four overs still remaining. Bhuvneshwar emerged as India’s most successful bowler, picking up four wickets while Kohli was adjudged the Man of the Match for his timely century.

India, who are leading the series 1-0 now, will meet Windies for the third and final ODI at the same venue on Wednesday.