India v West Indies, 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam November 24, 2013

West Indies slip and stumble, but draw level


West Indies 289 for 8 (Sammy 63*, Simmons 62, Powell 59, Darren Bravo 50, Ashwin 2-37) beat India 288 for 7 (Kohli 99, Dhoni 51*, Rampaul 4-60) by two wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chasing 289 on an outfield that looked like it was wet because of persistent rain and not dew, West Indies had it all to lose, and some of their batsmen tried their best to do so. Ultimately, the cool head of deposed ODI captain Darren Sammy prevailed to level the series 1-1. Kieran Powell and the brothers Bravo threw their wickets away, and Lendl Simmons tried to do so unsuccessfully, but Sammy timed the final assault well to carry a stumbling West Indies to their first win of the tour.

The West Indies bowling towards the end of the Indian innings played a key role in keeping the series alive. India were 194 for 3 when the 36th over began, with Virat Kohli on course for an 18th ODI century. Ravi Rampaul, Jason Holder and Sunil Narine pulled them back, and Kohli fell for 99. Narine bowled his last five overs, coming back in the 37th, for just eight runs, bowling two maidens while Rampaul took the wickets. Despite MS Dhoni's assault towards the end, a total of 95 in the last 15 overs meant a manageable chase, which became easier as the dew got heavier.

The balls must have felt like bars of soap to India and had to be changed on three occasions. They skidded on, negating the slowness of the surface that had pulled India back when the conditions were dry. West Indies, though, were benevolent. Darren Bravo was dropped three times in four deliveries before he went to cut a length ball from R Ashwin and was dismissed. That ended West Indies' best partnership of the tour, an even 100, and left Powell kicking the ground in disgust at the other end.

Soon, Powell would show an equal lack of situational awareness. In the 26th and the 27th over, both the wet balls were changed for drier ones. And once again, Powell had the best seat in the house to learn from his partner's mistake. Lendl Simmons went driving at the first delivery of the 26th over, but the drier ball gripped and turned past the bat. The second took the edge, and fell short of slip. Powell, though, wasn't observing, and premeditated a skip-and-defence to the first dry ball he faced, missing the line of the ball by at least six inches, and getting stumped by a mile. That was R Ashwin's second wicket; he bowled 10 overs for 37, a big achievement for a spinner in wet conditions.

At 123 for 2, West Indies needed 166 in 28 overs; at 185 for 4, the 104 required off 15.4 overs seemed even more manageable with a wet ball. Somehow, they managed to throw it away on both occasions, this time Dwayne Bravo pulling to the only man in the deep. Sammy, though, came out and showed his team-mates how to do it.

Sammy began with two singles, then played out a maiden from Ravindra Jadeja, but that didn't worry him. His partner Simmons always tried a big shot whenever he faced a few dots. Sammy, though, knew he could wait. Unlike in the Tests, he backed his game here.

The maiden that Sammy was played was at the start of the Powerplay. There was a concerted effort from Sammy and Simmons to not lose a wicket in the Powerplay - India had lost two for 15. West Indies too managed only 15, but they had wickets in hand to score 86 off the last 10 overs.

Sammy began the assault in the 41st over, taking 12 off Mohammed Shami, and it was clear West Indies were edging ahead. Simmons, though, nearly threw it away in the 42nd but was dropped by Yuvraj Singh at long-on. Perhaps the wetness of the ball caused that slip, but it came a night before India discuss Yuvraj's shaky position for the tour of South Africa.

Sammy kept backing himself to clear the field whenever he wanted to, but he also played with the field, beating short fine leg on more than occasion while dragging short balls from outside off. Every time an attempted yorker went too full, Sammy put it into the crowd. He had to contend with one final brain fade, though.

West Indies needed 22 off 19 when Jadeja got one to skid and trap Simmons in front. The game was still in West Indies' grip, which was tightened with a four and a six from Sammy in the next over. This is where Jason Holder and Sunil Narine went for the glory, and made it four required off nine deliveries with two wickets in hand.

Sammy, however, made sure he had crossed over before Narine's top edge was caught, and took a single to keep strike for the last over. The field came up, but the runs were scored, and Kohli's effort earlier in the day - which could have made him the first man to have scored five centuries each in consecutive years - was overshadowed.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • trevor on November 26, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    Kudos to WESTINDIES; I PICKED THEM TO WIN FOR TWO REASONS;They have the talent,and Their PRIDE AS WINDIES CRICKETERS.I saw a group of Fihting men,Men who realized that they have a duty and responsibility to return the Team to the pinnacle of respectability as WINDIES cricketers. I KID YOU NOT; I EXPECT BRAVO,SAMMY, SAMUEL & KIERNAN Powell to go about the business of leading this team to victory over INDIA.Marlon Samuels I am calling you out.GET IT TOGETHER, YOU CAN DO A LOT BETTER-SO get on with it.The Bravos are expected to play leadership cricket, focus-place a high price on your wickets-50S Are not good enough from you guys,Carry on.Good knock by Sammy, you need to continue playing responsible with the bat;Congrats to the team for Winning-I expect nothing less-no excuses-rain, dew whatever, lets win some series,play ball.

  • Ali on November 25, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    Cannot compare India with once mighty undefeatable Australian Team. They have set such a high benchmark it seems impossible to reach. Indian pace bowling is a big question mark and a big huddle in claiming to be no 1. How many you will see full tosses instead of yorkers. Decent Pace bowling is the only weak link in Indian lineup and this is a big point to proof on South Africa tour.

  • Narine on November 25, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    Good effort the selectors need to drop Samuels and let Ramdin come back in and wicket keep at Charles cannot do both.

  • kumar on November 25, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    @Albert_cambell, congratulations for getting many replies. I think that is what you were expecting after posting some funny comments. Your comment on Pakistan being best from Sub-Continent was so foolish that even Pak fans don't want to get into your foolish trap. btw what do you mean by UAE not home ground for Pakistan? Why is Pak not playing in home grounds? What do you really mean by best team? Until I saw your comments I thought SA fans are sensible like their team but you have proven me wrong and opened my eyes. Pak definitely has good players especialy bowlers but not good as a unit and they are far behind in proving their batting talent.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    The West Indies need to get a grip of themselves and get in the big game temperment. They have to waking up!

  • Jem on November 25, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    Thrilled to bits for Sammy. A real gentleman who is horribly criticized for not being good enough, when the truth is that there are simply no better WI players at present - hardly his fault. The guy always gives his all and he deserves every success he gets - I just hope the WI fans both back and applaud him.

  • mervin on November 25, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    It was interesting to hear Bravos post match comment...did not really acknowledge Sammy's effort.

  • Android on November 25, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    why is everyone getting carried away?? come on fellow West Indians how many times have we seen this happen?? we win 1 match and suddenly all else is forgotten. . we can't sweep things under the bed and just forget its there! !! lets put a string of "good" displays together before we talk!!

  • Rajesh on November 25, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    @Albert_cambell: You are spot on, man. I am in total agreement with you. But our cricket fans live for the present. Forget the past. I do not know about Shami because he looks good to last for another 5 years at least, ONLY if he keeps working hard. But, Bhuvaneshwar will vanish in 2 years, unless he learns to bowl well when there is no swing assistance.

  • Sanjay on November 25, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    @Albert_cambell..If Pakistan who were the worst team of CT in England , got thrashed by SA by unimaginable margins to a point where ICC is to review their test status, and havent won a thing in the past and even lost by massive margins in Zimbabwe is the best team in the subcontinent then my Bangladeshi is also as correct he feels his BD team is the best.! Congratulations to both of you. Who cares about ICC rankings! Both of you command huge respect from all cricket fans around the world with your judgements!