ODI: Hope, Carty force series decider against India
SUMMARY: India 181 all out from 40.5 overs (Ishan Kishan 55, Shubman Gill 34, Suryakumar Yadav 24; Gudakesh Motie 3-36, Romario Shepherd 3-37) vs West Indies 182-4 from 36.4 overs (Shai Hope 63*, Keacy Carty 48*, Kyle Mayers 36; Shardul Thakur 3-42)
West Indies beat India in an ODI for the first time since December 2019, the six-wicket win in the second of three games their first after nine defeats in a row. The win helped West Indies level the series 1-1 after losing the first ODI on Thursday.
After Gudakesh Motie and Romario Shepherd got three wickets each and Alzarri Joseph picked up two to bowl India – they had rested Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli – out for 181, captain Shai Hope and the inexperienced Keacy Carty took care of the chase, which was completed with more than 13 overs to spare.
It was comfortable in the end for West Indies, but didn’t come without its share of hiccups – they slipped from 53 without loss in the ninth over to 91-4 after 17, Shardul Thakur the main reason for it.
That must have raised India’s hopes, but Hope and Carty ensured smooth sailing after that. Hope hit 63 not out, and put up an unbroken stand of 91 with Carty (48 not out) for the fifth wicket.
The pitch in Bridgetown offered grip and turn throughout the game, with the spinners’ economy rate across two innings being 3.89 as against the pace bowlers’ 5.20.
However, before Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja tested West Indies’ middle order – Jadeja was fast and flat; Kuldeep was slow while getting more turn – it was Thakur who removed the top three batters in the space of 25 balls to open the game up.
Once they got together, Hope and Carty were content to do it in singles after Kuldeep had cleaned Shimron Hetmyer up with one that was quicker, skidding through to hit off stump.
Carty got to a patient 48 off 65 balls, opening up only after the job was almost done and smashing consecutive boundaries off Hardik Pandya to finish the game off. But the fact that West Indies had only 182 to chase was down to a collective bowling effort, along with a combination of a helpful pitch and refreshing athleticism from the fielders.
India, asked to bat at the toss, suffered two collapses of their own. First, from a solid 90-0 to a dicey 113-5, and then, from 146-5 to 181 all out.
These came either side of a lengthy rain break. West Indies sensed an opportunity in the absence of Rohit and Kohli, and they pounced. It all started in the 17th over of India’s innings, when a full, tossed-up delivery from Motie had Shubman Gill lofting to long-off for 34, his highest score in seven international innings across formats since June.
That got West Indies going, and in the 18th over, Alick Athanaze dived to his right at point to send Ishan Kishan back for 55. It was Kishan’s second successive half-century in the series.
Two overs later, Shepherd got one to rise sharply at Axar Patel, promoted to No. 4, and he was cramped for room with the ball angling in from around the wicket. Axar tried to drop his gloves, but still ended up tickling to the wicketkeeper.
Jayden Seales then got his only wicket of the day when a shoulder-height bouncer to Hardik had him pulling straight to midwicket, before Yannic Cariah foxed the comeback man Sanju Samson with turn and bounce.
Landing one on a good length around off stump, Cariah got the legbreak to jump as well as move considerably away from the right-hander. Samson jabbed at it with a flat bat, only belatedly thinking of letting it go. But, by then, it was a little too late, as the outside edge went to slip.
India were sliding, and then came heavy rain. When Suryakumar Yadav and Jadeja added 33 to signal a brief recovery after the stoppage, it seemed like the break had come as a blessing for them. But West Indies seized control again, picking up the last five wickets for just 35 runs.
Shepherd pitched short at Jadeja, having him top edge a pull to fine leg in the 32nd over. Motie, getting turn and bounce, had Suryakumar slashing to point after an entertaining 24.
Soon after came another moment of spectacular fielding from West Indies, when Carty rushed in and dived forward from deep square-leg to send back Umran Malik in the 38th over.
Motie wrapped the innings up when he got last man Mukesh Kumar in the 41st, finishing with 3 for 36. As a result, India were bowled out with 9.1 overs remaining, and West Indies now have a shot at a first ODI series win against them since May 2006. (ESPNcricinfo)