The second ODI between India and West Indies finished in a thrilling tie, as the visitors staged a brilliant fightback to chase down and draw level with the home side’s 321, after another history –making performance from India captain Virat Kohli.
After the thrashing that India handed West Indies in the first match in the series, both teams made one change for the game in Visakhapatnam, with India bringing in Kuldeep Yadav for Khaleel Ahmed, and the visitors replacing Oshane Thomas with Obed McCoy.
This time, having won the toss, India decided to bat first with their experienced opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. However, they suffered an early blow with the loss of Sharma who was caught at point by Shimron Hetmyer off the bowling of Kemar Roach for just 4. Dhawan and his captain Virat Kohli then looked to advance the score but, having reached 29, Dhawan was adjudged law to Ashley Nurse for 29.
However, Kohli and Ambati Rayudu then looked to build a platform for the innings, as they compiled a stand of 139 for the third wicket. Both men passed the 50 mark, but, having reached 73, Rayudu fell to the bowling of Nurse, having struck 8 fours. MS Dhoni joined his captain at the crease, and was there to join in the applause when Kohli reached the milestone of 81, which made him the fastest man to reach 10,000 runs in ODI cricket. Nurse almost brought the celebrations to an end shortly afterwards with an appeal for lbw but Kohli survived and pressed on with the scoring.
The innings though was checked when McCoy claimed his first wicket in international cricket, bowling Dhoni for 20. However, then Kohli began to treat the crowd to another masterclass, as he reached his 37th ODI and began to accelerate the scoring rate. He added 26 with Risbabh Pant for the 5th wicket, and, when Pant was lbw to Marlon Samuels for 17, joined in a 6th wicket partnership with Ravindra Jadeja that took the Indians past the 300 mark. Jadeja fell in the penultimate over to McCoy for 13, chasing quick runs, but there was still time for Kohli to pass the 150 mark, as India reached 321 – 6 at the end of their innings. Kohli was undefeated on 157, having hit 4 sixes and 13 fours.
In reply the West Indies got off to a rapid start with Kieran Powell and Chandrapaul Hemraj putting on 36 for the first wicket before Powell was caught by Pant off the bowling of Mohammed Shami for 18. Hemraj and Shia Hope added a quick-fire 28 before Hemraj, who had scored 32, was bowled by Yadav. The left-armed spinner then struck again in his next over, bowling Marlon Samuels for 13.
However, then Hope and Hetmyer put together a brilliant stand of 143 that gave their side a real chance of winning the match. Compiled off just 20 overs and let by Hetmyer, who backed-up his performance in the first match with another aggressive knock, they managed to quieten the home crowd. The stand came to an end when Hetmyer, who had hit 7 sixes, was caught by Kohli of a leading edge for 94, off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal. Rovman Powell had a brief cameo of 18 before he was caught of Yadav, but then Hope reached his hundred despite the intense pressure on him. Together with his captain Jason Holder, they added 47 valuable runs for the 5th wicket before Holder was run out for 12 by Rayudu.
Hope and Nurse started the last over needing 14 to win, but then Nurse fell unluckily off the fourth ball to Umesh Yadav, with the West Indies still needing 7. However, Hope hit two and then a four off the final ball to bring the scores level. He finished undefeated on 123 not out, with 3 sixes and 10 fours to his name.
Kohli was given the man of the match award for the second successive game, but it can be argued that the award should have been shared with Hope who did so much to make it a nail-biting contest.