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India clinch ODI series as West Indies top-order batsmen collapse around Brooks

With India unsteady on 43 for 3 in the 11th over, the Nicholas Pooran-led West Indies looked to have a sniff in the second ODI in the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad today. But after that, the visitors smelled only leather as Rohit Sharma’s batsmen powered their way to 237 for 9 before their pacers cleaned up the WI batsmen to give the hosts a 44-run victory and a second successive win in the three-match series.

It was another uninspired and uninspiring performance from the WI top order which, since 2019, has averaged just over 35 against top teams.

Photo: India pacer Prasidh Krishna (left) celebrates the wicket of West Indies batsman Brandon King in the second ODI on 9 February 2022.
(Copyright BCCI)

Today, in the absence of the injured Kieron Pollard, they did not quite manage even that—Akeal Hosein (34 off 52, 3 x 4), staking a claim for genuine allrounder status, already striding to the middle at number seven at 76 for 5.

He was still there at 159 for 7 when allrounder Odean Smith came to the wicket. But although Smith (24 off 20, 1 x 4, 2 x 6) clobbered a pair of sixes off Shardul Thakur to spawn hope, there would be no repeat of the England T20 Game Two pyrotechnics which brought West Indies to within a couple of runs of victory.

And Man-of-the-Match Prasidh Krishna eventually struck Kemar Roach right in front to end the West Indies innings at 193 and make his final figures 9-3-12-4.

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Rohit lost the toss and batted, which he said he would have done even if he had won. The solid platform on which his team’s innings was erected was a boundary-dotted fourth-wicket partnership of 91 between the returning KL Rahul (49 off 48, 4 x 4, 2 x 6) and Suryakumar Yadav (64 off 83, 5 x 4).

Photo: India batsmen cross for a run while stand-in West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran (right) looks on during the second ODI on 9 February 2022.

The pair came together after Roach claimed Rohit and Smith sent back his promoted opening partner Rishabh Pant and former skipper Virat Kohli cheaply.

Unfazed by their team’s precarious situation, Rahul and Yadav settled things down nicely for their side although the wicket was clearly giving some assistance to the quicker bowlers. At one stage, Smith’s figures read 3-0-11-2 while Jason Holder’s read 3-1-3-0. And it took almost four overs before Yadav swatted a full toss from Smith to mid-on for the first boundary of the partnership.

The pair gradually found their footing and began to find the boundary with increasing regularity, leaving left-arm finger spinners Hosein and Fabian Allen with unflattering early figures.

After Rahul ran himself out, hesitating in mid-pitch on the second run as Hosein rifled an accurate throw to Pooran from deep cover, the momentum slowed appreciably. The fifth-wicket pair added only 43 in the next nine overs as tight bowling by Alzarri Joseph (10-0-36-2) and Smith (7-0-29-2), the pick of the bowlers, with good support from Allen (10-0-50-1) held the Indian batsmen in check.

Photo: West Indies finger spinner Fabian Allen sends down another teasing delivery.
(Copyright CWI Media)

That meant that Pooran, managing his resources superbly, had the luxury of bowling his two spinners together at the start of the last powerplay with India on 183 for 5. By then, the pair had already contributed ten overs between them.

It took India five more overs to raise the 200 in Allen’s tenth over, his spell costing 50 and his last seven just 27. No bowler ended scalpless on the day, Roach, Holder and Hosein finishing with one wicket apiece.

In all, India managed only 54 runs off the last powerplay, the eventual target for the West Indies being a hill rather than a mountain—but one they had not contrived to climb in their last three outings.

Brandon King (18 off 20, 2 x 4, 1 x 6) flattered to deceive before he top-edged Prasidh through to wicketkeeper Pant for the first of his four catches in the innings. But the consistently disappointing Darren Bravo did not even flatter before the same pair accounted for him off only his third ball at 38 for 2.

The required stabilisation job pushed Shai Hope and Shamarh Brooks into their shells.

Photo: West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks takes on the leg-side field.
(via CWI Media)

From Bravo’s dismissal at the start of the 10th, they scored a solitary boundary to get to 50 at the end of the 15th without further loss. Brooks was on 2 off 20 balls, Hope 26 off 47 while Prasidh’s figures read 4-2-3-2.

Trying to break the shackles, Hope holed out to long-on off Yuzvendra Chahal’s leg-spin and then Pooran smashed his first legitimate ball over midwicket for six. But Rohit recalled Prasidh into the attack and caught the edge he induced from Pooran wide at slip.

In dire straits with no Pollard to come, the WI needed Holder to reproduce his Game One form and consolidate the innings. Not to be. The tall allrounder pulled a Thakur lifter down Deepak Hooda’s throat at deep backward square, leaving salvation, 160 off 27 overs, to Brooks (44 off 64, 2 x 4, 2 x 6) and the allrounders Hosein, Allen, Joseph and Smith and number 11 Roach.

It proved to be more than a bridge too far, no Indian bowler on the day going wicketless either. But it was the pacers Prasidh and Thakur (2/41) rather than the spinners who dominated this time around.

Photo: West Indies lower-order batsman Akeal Hosein works a delivery to leg.
(via CWI Media)

Rohit said that ‘winning the series is a good feeling without a doubt’.

“We were outstanding with the ball,” he added and praised the pair involved in the fourth-wicket partnership, saying they had displayed “the maturity we need.”

With the taste of their T20 series win over England now a distant memory, Pooran admitted that WI had “let it slip.” He singled out Smith for individual mention, calling him “special” and “a strong guy” and adding that “the sky is the limit for him.”

For the WI, however, the immediate goal will have to be showing that their batsmen are not limited to sub-par performances by producing a face-saving, match-winning performance in the third and final ODI encounter at the same venue on Friday.

Photo: India ODI captain Rohit Sharma appeals without conviction for a dismissal.
(via Probatsman)

(Match Summary)

Toss: West Indies

India: 237 for 9 (50 overs) (Suryakumar Yadav 64, KL Rahul 49; Odean Smith 2/29, Alzarri Joseph 2/36)

West Indies: 193 all out (46 overs) (Shamarh Brooks 44, Akeal Hosein 34, Shai Hope 27; Prasidh Krishna 4/12, Shardul Thakur 2/41)


Result: India win by 44 runs

India lead the three-match series 2-0

About Earl Best

Earl Best
Earl Best taught cricket, French, football and Spanish at QRC for many years and has written consistently for the Tapia and the Trinidad and Tobago Review since the 1970's. He is also a former sports editor at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express and is now a senior lecturer in Journalism at COSTAATT.

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