Windies have made a brilliant comeback in the 5 match ODI series against India after winning the third match by 43 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Stadium, Pune. Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to field first. India welcomed back pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Khaleel Ahmed to the playing XI. The Windies replaced Devendra Bishoo with Fabian Allen.
Jasprit Bumrah made his comeback to the Indian playing XI with a grand style. The right arm fast bowler picked up two wickets inside the first 9 overs to reduce the visitors to 38-2. Marlon Samuels’ horror show with the bat continued after he was dismissed by Khaleel Ahmed for 9 runs. Now on the crease were the two most in-form Windies batsmen, Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope.
Hetmyer continued from where he had left at Vizag. The left-handed batsman smashed 2 fours and 3 sixes. But a smart piece of work from MS Dhoni behind the stumps marked the end of him for 37 runs and gave Kuldeep Yadav his first wicket of the innings. Rovman Powell was the next to follow. Powell had no answer to the wrong ‘un from Kuldeep and handed a catch to Rohit Sharma in the slips.
Shai Hope looked in great touch yet again. The right-handed batsman scored another fifty in the series. Captain Jason Holder provided the much needed support to him. The duo added 77 runs for the sixth wicket before Bhuvi picked up Holder when the scorecard read 197-6 in the 39th over. Fabian Allen didn’t have a bright debut. His slog sweep failed miserably and the ball handed straight in the hands of Rishabh Pant. Hope was denied successive centuries by Bumrah who bowled a toe-crushing yorker to clean up the batsman. However Nurse and Kemar Roach added 56 runs for the 9th wicket before Bumrah ended Nurse’s blitzkrieg innings of 40 runs from 22 balls. Windies finished their innings with 283 runs.
Rohit Sharma struck two fantastic boundaries to start India’s chase and looked in great touch. But a great delivery from Holder cleaned him up for just 8 runs. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli looked to consolidate the batting innings. Dhawan smacked 5 fours for his 35 but just like in the previous ODI he misjudged Nurse’s delivery to be adjudged LBW. Ambati Rayudu started his innings with great promise. But like Dhawan, he too lost his wicket at a key juncture of the game.
Meanwhile, Kohli had completed another half century in the due process. Rishabh Pant was sent ahead of MS Dhoni to counter-attack the bowling attack. The Delhi batsman came out all guns blazing and struck 3 fours and a solitary six. But another Indian batsman failed to capitalise in the start. Nurse got his second wicket in the form of Pant. India went deep down into trouble when Holder was successful in finding an edge from MS Dhoni. Dhoni’s departure meant India were now 194-5 in the 36th over.
Virat Kohli created history when he completed his century as he became the first Indian to score 3 centuries in three successive matches. But the Indian skipper lost partners at the other end. This time it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who lost his wicket. And when Marlon Samuels sent Kohli back to the pavilion, a win was almost in the bag for the visitors. Three quick wickets helped them restrict India to 240 runs, thus winning the match by 43 runs.
India’s middle order still looks out of touch. Slowly the team is becoming too much dependent on Virat Kohli. With the World Cup taking place in the next year, India need to fix up their middle order problems. Erstwhile Windies are overjoyed with their victory. The series is now levelled at one apiece with two games to go. The next ODI is on 29th October in Mumbai.
Windies: 280-9(50 o.)
Shai Hope: 95(113)
Ashley Nurse: 40(22)
Jasprit Bumrah: 10-1-35-4
India: 240-10(47.4 o.)
Virat Kohli: 107(119)
Shikhar Dhawan: 35(45)
Marlon Samuels: 3.4-1-12-3
Man of The Match: Ashley Nurse