India v West Indies, 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam December 2, 2011

Kohli and Rohit overpower West Indies


India 270 for 5 (Kohli 117, Rohit 90*) beat West Indies 269 for 9 (Rampaul 86*, Simmons 78, Yadav 3-38) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Lendl Simmons withstood like the boy on the burning deck, while Ravi Rampaul shot from the hip like the last man standing. Their half-centuries were stirring for they created them from ruins, but neither led West Indies to victory. Instead, Virat Kohli's methodical century, which enhanced his growing stature as an expert of the chase, and Rohit Sharma's efficient finishing act, prevailed and led India to a 2-0 lead on a drizzly day in Visakhapatnam.

India's bowlers had a critical role in the victory as well, before they were rendered bereft of ideas by Rampaul's record-breaking assault at No. 10. Umesh Yadav and Vinay Kumar, the new-ball operators, exploited rare seam-bowling conditions on the subcontinent and cut through the West Indian top order. Under cloudy skies, on a cracked pitch that had bounce, they used consistent outswing to help reduce West Indies to 149 for 8 despite defiance from Simmons. The end should have quickly followed, but it didn't, because Rampaul blitzed 86 off 66 balls and added 99 for the tenth wicket to lead West Indies to 269 for 9.

The chase was not hiccup-free either. India suffered two early wickets and the loss of an off-colour Sehwag - whose 26 lacked enough strike and momentum - to slip to 84 for 3 in the 17th over. Sehwag could have fallen on 1 and 15 but was dropped by Darren Sammy and Darren Bravo, who is as poor a fielder as he is promising a batsman.

The moments that cost West Indies most, however, were the let-offs Kohli had. On 24, Kohli swiveled and tried to pull Andre Russell, a shot he would execute with success later during his eighth century. This time Denesh Ramdin failed to catch the ball and the umpire did not signal leg-byes. On 40, Kohli drove the ball hard back at the bowler Marlon Samuels, who couldn't hold on as he dived to his right. Kohli gave West Indies no more chances.

Rohit had a painful start to his innings. His third ball was a short one from Rampaul and it thudded into the glove of his bottom hand. Three balls later Rohit retorted with a audacious pull off the front foot that sent the ball into the crowd beyond the midwicket boundary. It was the start of a 163-run partnership that decided the game.

Though the challenge was sizeable, Kohli and Rohit ensured the asking-rate, which hit a run a ball for the first time after 23 overs, was always under control. Sammy, unlike his counterpart Sehwag who often had six fielders in the circle when India were bowling, spread his field and the batsmen were able to whittle down the target without risking their wickets.

There were a few more tense moments as the contest entered its home stretch. After closing the gap between runs required and balls left with five boundaries in ten balls - Kohli 3, Rohit 2 - Kohli was dismissed for 117. Raina was caught behind hooking a short ball soon after, and India needed 22 off 24 balls. Rohit, however, did the job he didn't do in Cuttack. He stayed the course, striking a six over long-off to reach 90 and then watching from the other end as the game was won.

A few hours earlier, the match didn't look like it would go into its 99th over. The floodlights were on as play began after a delayed start in front of a strong crowd and Yadav didn't take long to give them reason to roar. In the second over, he produced a late outswinger that grazed Adrian Barath's outside edge en route to the wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

A feature of Yadav's bowling was how upright the seam was before the ball hit the pitch and seamed away. Sehwag had a third slip because of all the movement, and when Samuels edged Yadav, Raina dived to his right and took a low catch. West Indies were 25 for 2.

Simmons went on the attack, stylishly whipping Yadav to the square-leg boundary, and walking out of his crease to drive Vinay on the up through extra cover to bring up 1000 career runs. At the other end, there was false promise from Bravo, who flicked and straight drove Varun Aaron for fours before lofting Vinay to the fielder at mid-on. Two balls later, Danza Hyatt was walking back for nought.

Only after Ramdin - Yadav's third wicket - departed with his team reeling at 63 for 5, did things begin to look up for West Indies. Simmons reached his half-century and Pollard brought up the 50 partnership by launching the offspinner R Ashwin over the straight boundary. He followed that with another six over wide long-on next ball. Another slump was around the corner, though.

Pollard, Sammy and Russell fell in quick time and it was then that Rampaul made his entrance. He swept Ashwin for four and clubbed him over long-on, before targeting Jadeja and scoring two more fours. Between those braces of shots, Simmons had been run out for 78.

The boundaries were small but Rampaul would have cleared larger ones today. He brought up his half-century off 35 balls and hit half a dozen sixes and as many fours, most of them swung with power on the leg side. There was an inevitability about how the innings ended, with Rampaul slamming Aaron over the straight boundary. He walked off the field with a composed look on his face, knowing the job was only half done. He wouldn't be able to complete it, though.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    Yeah robin uttapa should be in Team in place of parthiv patel

  • Kaysha on December 4, 2011, 23:23 GMT

    Despite the lost i'm still proud of how west indies payed especially Ravi Rampaul. West Indies has shown that they can be competitive.I just wish they would win matches instead of losing and drawing them.

  • Mathews on December 4, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    Hope Sehwag will use his bowlers in this match a right way, specially bringing spinners earlier, using pacers and part-timers accordingly to avoid "Rampaul" situation again. Give last chance to P Patel today, but not in the opening slot - lower order, opening must be SEHWAG and GAMBIR as they are most successful openers in Sachin's absence, anyhow selection committee should go with Robin UTHAPPA as wicket keeper batsman for the next matches

  • Sakthi on December 4, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    @sinhaya : Watched Pak vs Ban .. Saw how may dolly catches they let down. As you said Afridi, Ajmal, and Hafeez are in good form. So What these spinners are going do in England pitches.. You must be crazy..

  • Anil on December 4, 2011, 13:41 GMT


  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    Rohit Sharma ! The perfect find for Indian Cricket. Rohit didnt repeat his mistake of first ODI and stayed there till India wins. This is the maturity. In second match as he arrived, clever Rampaul rightly targeted him as Rohit got a blow on the same finger he suffered in England. In England he was helpless. But yesterday within 3 deliveries he threw Rampaul over squareleg for a class six. This is the toughness. After this Rampaul never bowled any bouncer to him. I think amongst all three, Rohit, Virat & Suresh, Rohit is handling short rising delivery more comfortably. I remember in last T20 worldcup, Rohit handled Australian fast bowlers very easily. He hit sixes to all Australian pacers like Bowlinger, Nanus, Johnson, Watson etc. In that match every Indian batsmen suffered againt short ball. Now Rohit has to maintain this concistancy. He has done all the hard work. Gained the place for him in Indian squad. All the best Rohit. Keep it on !

  • Akshat on December 4, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    I completely agree with Vpx23 and Nampally. We need our superb openers to come back, and Robin Uthappa can take Parthiv's place when the team needs an extra keeper. Parthiv only ends up adding pressure on the team, be it while fielding (by missing) or while batting (by getting out at low scores)

  • narsimha on December 4, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    WAZA1234,My opnion was in regards to test matches that too in presnt contast .Agreed if we take over all stats AUS& PAK enjoyed supremecy over india even on indian grounds but that is during 80s-90s,pak used to win matches in sharjah,pak& in india ,even though at that period we had very talented team with formidable batting line up which includes greates like gavaskar,amarnath,vengsarkar azhahar& OFCOURCE KAPIL, but that team lacks agresion& killing iinstinct I ihad grown watching a lot of close contests loosing to pak .the senario changed at the elevation of ganguly,as captain now our team evenly matches to all top teams in all aspects including in agression ,can you tell me whether aus&pak had enyoyed the same daminance in home & aqway during LAST DECADE OVER INDIA i doubt.

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    I fully agree with the views of Mr Nampally as I also would like to promote Viru to open the innings in the next 3 odi's since they not only our regular test openers (remember how they understand each other in taking singles, converting singles into 2's, etc., etc., but they will be also opening the innings in 1-dayers too (above all they represent Delhi and what more ofter they open for Delhi too) after Mr Sachin hung up his boots. Like Sammy so is Patel is a liability to our team but anyhow we cannot omit him unless we find a keeper. regards, R Neil Rashan.

  • Gaurav on December 4, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    waza1234 -Likewise we wish that we had great bowlers like Wasim Waquar Imran Saqlain ,Abdul Quadir.Like i mentioned in my first post here i have deep respect for Pak cricket and i never meant disrespect .

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