West Indies vs India 2nd ODI: India cruise to convincing win behind Rahane’s 103

Rahane celebrates after bringing up his third ODI hundred

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India opener Ajinkya Rahane struck a magnificent 103 to guide his side to a 105-run win over the West Indies in the second ODI in Trinidad on Sunday.

Rahane would have been relieved to have finally scored a century as his last ODI hundred came against Sri Lanka all the way back in November 2014.

The West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl first, but the start of the match was delayed due to rain. Once the conditions improved, it was reduced to 43 overs per side.

Thinking that the overcast conditions would help them, the West Indies were sorely mistaken as Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan amassed a 114-run partnership, during which Dhawan surpassed his half-century.

Dhawan scored his 21st ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

With India in complete control and scoring at a very healthy rate, the West Indies did everything in their power to try and get a breakthrough.

However, they had to wait until the 19th over to get it when Dhawan was stumped by Shai Hope off the bowling of Ashley Nurse for 63, which came off 59 balls and included 10 boundaries.

Rahane and captain Virat Kohli kept the runs flowing with a 97-run stand, during which Rahane sailed past his fifty and brought up his hundred.

Shortly after passing his century though, Rahane was clean bowled by Miguel Cummins for 103 off 104 deliveries, which included 10 boundaries and two sixes.

Even though Hardik Pandya and Yuvraj Singh fell shortly after, Kohli helped India finish on 310/5 off their 43 overs thanks to his knock of 87, which came off 66 balls and included four boundaries and four sixes.

Kohli struck his 43rd half-century in ODI cricket

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Alzarri Joseph was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Nurse, Cummins and Jason Holder chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 311 to win, the West Indies got off to a disastrous start as opener Kieran Powell was caught behind off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a duck on the third ball of the innings.

Jason Mohammed also failed to trouble the scorers, but Hope and Evin Lewis steadied the ship with an 89-run partnership, during which Hope registered his half-century.

Hope’s second ODI fifty went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Kuldeep Yadav provided the breakthrough India were looking for when Lewis was stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off his bowling for 21.

Hope ended up making 81 off 88 balls, which included five boundaries and three sixes, before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Kuldeep.

Jonathan Carter only scored 13 runs, while Holder mustered 29 before suffering the same fate as Lewis.

Roston Chase made an unbeaten 33 towards the end of the innings, but it went in vain as the West Indies finished on 205/6 off their 43 overs.

Kuldeep was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Kumar took two and Ravichandran Ashwin claimed one.

Holder was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “We didn’t really bowl that well. We didn’t close out the innings well, and we didn’t have momentum going at the start of our chase. I thought we were tight to their openers, but Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane are quality players, they played some good shots, beat the infield.

“Today I probably struggled a little with the wet ball. I thought Shai played really well, he showed good intent, and got good support from Evin Lewis. Good to see Roston Chase coming in at the end and getting some runs as well.”

Kohli was delighted to have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, and said: “It was a complete performance again. The partnership between Ajinkya and Shikhar was outstanding, and myself at the back end, with Yuvi, MS and Kedar chipping in. Early wickets for Bhuvi, and really happy for Kuldeep as well, bowling for the first time and taking three wickets.

“The bench strength has always been right up there for us. Jinks couldn’t get a game in the Champions Trophy unfortunately, but shows his mental strength, steps in and scores runs. We’ll sit down and decide as a team about changes that can be made [when asked about Pant]. We’ll go to Antigua and regroup, and that’s a possibility as well, give a few guys an opportunity.”

Rahane was named Man of the Match, and said: “Really happy with the way I played today, even in the first game. Didn’t get an opportunity in the Champions Trophy, and I was hungry. It’s lovely to open with Shikhar. He’s in great form, we understand each other’s game really well. We complement each other. Wicket was slightly damp initially. We wanted to take our time initially, as well as play our shots.”

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