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Windies wilt under pressure


Windies wilt under pressure

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DELHI  – A now familiar batting implosion derailed West Indies’ run chase, as the Caribbean side quickly returned to their old habits in a 48-run defeat to India yesterday.

In pursuit of 264 for victory in the second One-Day International (ODI) at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, West Indies slumped from 170 for two in the 36th over to 215 all out off 46.3 overs – losing their last eight wickets for just 45 runs.

Opener Dwayne Smith missed out on a maiden ODI hundred with a run-a-ball career-best 97, and it was his dismissal in the 36th over that triggered the fatal slide.

Kieron Pollard, promoted to No. 3, managed 40 from 50 balls, while Darren Bravo, who opened with Smith, scored 26 from 44 deliveries.

They were the only three batsmen to pass 20, however, as seamer Mohammed Shami (4-36) combined with left-arm spinner Ravi Jadeja (3-44) to destroy the innings.

“At one stage it looked like we had it in the bag, but we have to give India credit,” Bravo said. “They out some pressure on us at the back end, and we didn’t cope well.”

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, finding bounce and turn, dried up the scoring in the middle overs and put pressure on the middle order and his spell of two for 40 from his ten overs proved incisive.

India had earlier posted 263 for seven off their 50 overs, with Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina both striking 62 and captain M.S. Dhoni rallying the innings at the end with an important unbeaten 51 off 40 balls.

Fast bowler Jerome Taylor picked up three wickets but conceded 54 runs from his ten overs.

The defeat saw India level the five-match series at 1-1, with the third match carded for Tuesday in Visakhapatnam.

Coming off a clinical performance in Wednesday’s first ODI in Kochi, the Windies had hoped for a repeat but sustaining those lofty standards proved beyond their reach.

They started well, however, reducing India to 74 for three in the 18th over, after the hosts won the toss and opted for first knock.

Taylor got one to come back to Shikhar Dhawan (1) in the second over to hit the left-hander’s off-stump with the score on four and his partner Ajinkya Rahane added 46 for the second wicket with Ambati Rayudu (32), before driving medium pacer Darren Sammy’s slower ball to Dwayne Bravo at cover, to fall for 12 in the 13th over.

When Rayudu, who faced 54 balls and struck three fours, edged left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn to Sammy at slip in the 18th over, the Windies were in command.

However, Kohli and Raina posted a fourth-wicket stand of 105, a partnership that set the ground work for India’s late rally.

The right-handed Kohli faced 78 balls and struck five fours, while Raina lasted 70 balls and counted five fours and two sixes.

They fell within 23 balls of each other ­– Raina holing out to Pollard at long-off off Taylor and Kohli also perishing in the deep, with Samuels taking the catch inches away from the ropes off seamer Ravi Rampaul.

On 196 for five in the 41st over, India needed someone to drive the innings and Dhoni stepped forward, hitting five fours and a six in shepherding the lower order.

In reply, West Indies got a patient start with Smith and Darren Bravo putting on 64 off 79 balls.

Smith’s first 11 balls yielded four runs but he blossomed well to hit 11 fours and two sixes. Darren Bravo never quite got going, and was bowled off-stump by Mohammed Shami playing down the wrong line.

Smith and Pollard seemed to have put the Windies on course for victory in their 82-run, second-wicket stand that lasted 94 balls. (CMC)