After more than 10 years, and in his 93rd ODI, Dwayne Smith finally looked set to score his first international hundred in limited-overs cricket. West Indies, having done well to keep India to 263, were well-placed at 170 for 2 and were on their way to secure a morale-boosting 2-0 lead in the series with a win at the Ferozeshah Kotla.
However, for the second time in the series, Smith fell to a bowler after hitting him for a six and was bowled by Mohammed Shami. Smith's departure for 97 triggered a West Indies collapse as the visitors folded for 215, and the batsman was disappointed at having missed out on a century and with the way his team-mates unraveled in the face of some incisive bowling.
"I'm disappointed. I worked really hard during the CPL and since I came here to India, I really wanted to make my mark in this series," Smith said. "Tonight I was looking to bat all the way through and take the team to victory. Someone needed to bat to the end and see the game home but unfortunately I wasn't able to complete the job. We came close tonight and victory, would have made it 2-0, so as a team we are disappointed. We have to give India credit. They bowled well and stuck to their plans.
"We know where we went wrong. We know we didn't bat as well as we should have. But it's 1-1 now in the series with three more matches to go. We are still well and truly in this series. We will look to come back and win the series. We have what it takes to win."
Smith was the second highest run-scorer in IPL 2014 and has been in good touch in Twenty20 cricket, aiding Barbados Tridents in their CPL title triumph. His ODI form since his return to the team in February, however, has been inconsistent: he managed just one fifty, against Ireland, in the four games preceding this series and had missed the limited-overs legs of the series against New Zealand and Bangladesh. Smith, though, said he backed his technique to come good on a two-paced Feroz Shah Kotla track.
"I went to the nets and changed a few things for this pitch. I have played here close to 10 times so I know how this pitch plays. It's not a bad pitch but you have to be watchful and know your scoring areas," Smith said. "You have to really settle yourself and pace your innings on this pitch. You have to look to get on the front foot and back your technique."