Hope shines but India go one up

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC) – Starlet Shai Hope struck a high class half-century but it failed to save West Indies from a 105-run defeat to India in the rain-hit second One-Day International of the five-match series here Sunday.
Chasing a difficult 311 in a contest reduced to 43 overs per side at Queen’s Park Oval, the Caribbean side were restricted to 205 for six, with Hope stroking an accomplished 81 off 88 balls.
Roston Chase chipped in with an unbeaten 33 while skipper Jason Holder made 29, but West Indies’ task was made more difficult after they slumped to four runs for two wickets in the third over and failed to mount a significant enough recovery effort.
Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav was key for the Indians with three for 50 including the wicket of Hope while seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed two for nine in an early burst with the new ball.
Right-handed opener Ajinkya Rahane had earlier compensated for the gloomy weather by carving out a stroke-filled 103 while his captain Virat Kohli struck 87 and Shikhar Dhawan, 63.
Those three innings formed the foundation of India’s 310 for five after they were asked to bat first following a delayed start of two hours because of rain.
Rahane faced 104 deliveries and counted 10 fours and two sixes, adding 114 for the first wicket with Dhawan whose 59-ball knock also included 10 boundaries.
Rahane showed his intent from as early as the opening over when he pulled fast bowler Alzarri Joseph to the square leg boundary and followed up in the 20-year-old’s next over by clearing the ropes at backward point.
The left-handed Dhawan joined in the run-spree with two sweetly-timed off-side boundaries off seamer Holder in the fourth over, as India sped to 63 after the first 10 overs.
Dhawan raised his second half-century in three days in the 14th over off 49 balls before departing in the 19th over, drawn from his crease by off-spinner Ashley Nurse and stumped.
Rahane then combined with Kohli in a 97-run stand to further bury the hosts. He raised his fifty off 56 balls in the 20th over but then accelerated to reach his third ODI hundred off another 46 deliveries – raising the landmark with a scintillating cover drive off seamer Miguel Cummins in the 34th over.
When he departed two balls later bowled by one that clipped off-stump, Kohli took charge of the innings, smashing four fours and four sixes in a 66-ball innings.
Holder conceded 22 runs off the final over, while sending down three no-balls – two of which were high full tosses and resulted in him barred from bowling the last delivery of the innings.
West Indies were up against it from the third ball of their reply when left-hander Kieran Powell was caught at the wicket without scoring off Kumar on review, without a run on the board.
Jason Mohammed followed in the third over, also without scoring, driving Kumar to backward point where Hardik Pandya snaffled a low chance.
With the innings wobbling, opener Hope then led the Windies recovery, putting on 89 for the third wicket with Evin Lewis who made a pedestrian 21 off 37 balls.
Hope raised his second ODI half-century off 65 balls in the 19th over and then upped the anti with leg-side sixes in successive overs from Kuldeep and off-spinner Ravi Ashwin.
Lewis perished in the 20th over at 93 for three, missing a charge at Kuldeep and going stumped. Hope was finally prised out, lbw on review to Kuldeep in the 26th over – one delivery after clearing extra cover for this third six.
All told, he counted five fours and three sixes and when he departed at 112 for four, the required run rate had risen to 11.5 runs an over.
Jonathan Carter’s dour 31-ball 13 helped precious little and Chase and Holder’s 42-run, sixth wicket stand off 44 deliveries was well short of the torrent of runs required to threaten India.

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