Axar’s heroics trumps Hope’s ton; India seal ODI series

India 312 for 8 (Axar 64*, Iyer 63, Samson 54, Joseph 2-46, Mayers 2-48) beat West Indies 311 for 6 (Hope 115, Pooran 74, Thakur 3-54) by two wickets

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Shai Hope scored a magnificent century but it was not enough to prevent the West Indies from going 2-0 down after a thrilling two-wicket victory with two balls to spare at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad on Sunday.

The win means the home side’s seven-match losing streak continues as they ceded the three-match series to India with one match remaining.

India started slowly but eventually got the measure of the West Indies attack with half-centuries from Shreyas Ayer (63) and Sanju Samson (54) but it was Axar Patel whose quick-fire 64 from 35 balls that powered India over the line with a straight six from the fourth ball of the final over bowled by Kyle Mayers.

Mayers finished with 2-48 from 7.4 overs. Alzarri Joseph bowled well for his 2-46 from 10. Jayden Seales proved economical taking 1-40 from his allotment.

Earlier, after the West Indies had won the toss and chose to bat first, Hope scored 115 as the West Indies posted 311-6 from their 50 overs.

After sharing in an opening stand of 65 with Kyle Mayers who made 39, Hope also featured in a second-wicket partnership of 62 with Shamarh Brooks who contributed 32 before he too was dismissed after getting a start.

Shai Hope hit a century in his 100th ODI•Associated Press

Brandon King made nought from five balls before Hope and Captain Nicolas Pooran shared in a 127-run partnership for the fourth wicket that got the West Indies back on track for another score over 300. Pooran was eventually dismissed for 74 with the West Indies positioned at 280-5 in the 44th over.

Hope finally fell in the 49th over, caught in the deep trying to hit over the long-off boundary as the West Indies’ rate of scoring dipped. The home side managed 31 off the next six overs while also losing the wickets of Rovman Powell for 13 and Romario Shepherd for 14, something that West Indies would come to regret.

Shardul Thakur was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3-54 from his seven overs but India’s ability to restrict the West Indies’ scoring in the death overs was largely due to the excellent bowling of Mohammad Siraj, who ended wicket-less but who the West Indies batters found difficult to get away in the final three overs. (SportsMax)

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