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Shami helps India level ODI series 1-1

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Indian players celebrating the wicket of a West Indies player during 2nd ODI of the Micromax International Cricket Series against West Indies at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi

Indian players celebrating the wicket of a West Indies player during 2nd ODI of the Micromax International Cricket Series against West Indies at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi
Indian players celebrating the wicket of a West Indies player during 2nd ODI of the Micromax International Cricket Series against West Indies at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi

Indian bowlers, led by pacer Mohammed Shami, came back strongly from the hammering they received from the West Indies batsmen in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Kochi to turn the match here Saturday around for the home side and help them win by 48 runs to level the five-match series 1-1.

Chasing India’s competitive total of 263/7, the West Indies were well on their way at 170/2 in the 36th over when Shami clean bowled opener Dwayne Smith (97), triggering a collapse for the Windies side at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The visitors were eventually bowled out for 215 in 46.3 overs.

Shami’s career-best figures of 4/36 earned him the man of the match award and the fast bowler was well supported by left-armer Ravindra Jadeja (3/44) and leg spinner Amit Mishra (2/40) with Umesh Yadav also picking up a wicket.

The Windies got a solid start after Smith and Darren Bravo (26) opened the chase with a 64-run partnership. After Bravo’s dismissal, Kieron Pollard (40) also gave good support to Smith.

Despite losing big-hitting Pollard, bowled by Mishra, the Windies were cruising and it looked like they were firm on taking a 2-0 lead in the series.

However, a quick delivery by Shami struck the pads of Smith which led the Indian to appeal, only to realise seconds later that the ball had gone on to dislodge the bails.

From there, the Caribbean side kept losing wickets regularly thanks to some tight bowling by spinners Jadeja and Mishra, whose two maiden overs aggravated the situation further for the West Indies, who went on to lose the last eight wickets for only 45 runs.

Earlier, a quick fire half-century from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and a 105-run partnership between Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina helped India score 263/7 following a slow start.

India started poorly despite winning the toss and electing to bat with aggressive opener Shikhar Dhawan (1) getting bowled by pacer Jerome Taylor in only the second over.

Ajinkya Rahane (12) and Ambati Rayudu (32), elevated to No.3 position, tried to strike a partnership but both got out leaving India in a spot of bother with the score at 74/3 in the 18th over.

However, Kohli (62), batting a position lower than his regular No.3 spot, and southpaw Raina (62) combined well to push the run rate up and string together a partnership which took the team out of trouble and gave them a chance to post a challenging total.

When it was looking like the left-and-right-hand combination would take India to strong total, Raina mistimed the ball to get caught at mid-off.

Kohli, lately going through a dry run of form, took time to get his timing right and continued for a while after Raina’s dismissal but also got caught when he hit a flat shot, only to be caught right at the edge of the long-off boundary.

Jadeja (6) also got out quickly but Bhuvneshwar Kumar (18) gave the support which Dhoni needed.

The India skipper hit five boundaries and a massive six over long-on to end the innings at an unbeaten 51 and help his side reach a fighting total.

Jerome Taylor was the pick of the Windies bowlers, taking three wickets for 54 runs in his 10 overs.

The third ODI will be played at Visakhapatnam Tuesday.

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