Hyderabad: Team India registered a convincing win against the West Indies in Vizag, helped by an all-round performance, including Kuldeep Yadav’s hat-trick and Shami’s consecutive blows, to level the three-match series 1-1.
Windies once again won the toss and sent India to bat, only to see the tables turned this time. Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul went on to put up a mammoth 227-run partnership for the first wicket, the highest by any Indian opening pair against the Windies. Rahul scored his first ODI hundred in India, while Rohit brought up his 28th century in the 50-over format.
Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant then fired things up and scored 55 runs in two overs which included a 31-run over off Roston Chase, the most runs given by any bowler in ODI cricket.
India ended up scoring 387/5 with Kedar Jadhav’s quickfire cameo and set a mountain for the Windies to climb in what was a do-or-die game for the Men in Blue.
The Windies started off decently with openers Evin Lewis & Shai Hope working out a 50-run partnership, but they couldn’t take it further as Shardul Thakur used a short ball inflict the first blow.
A rocket throw from Shreyas Iyer then sent Shimron Hetmyer packing at 4. Roston Chase soon fell to Jadeja. Windies were three down for 86.
Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope then had a 100-run partnership until Shami picked 2 in 2 to send Pooran & Pollard back to the pavilion.
The match also marked one of the rarest records as both skippers scored golden ducks for the first time in the history of ODI cricket.
A hat-trick from Kuldeep Yadav made sure India broke the back of the Windies batting lineup. Shami cleaned up Keemo Paul with a yorker to fold up the Windies at 280. India sealed the win by 107 runs and levelled the series 1-1. This also marked the end of an unwanted 4-match losing streak for India in ODIs.
Kuldeep Yadav became the first Indian bowler to take two international hat-tricks, with the first one against Australia at the Eden Gardens.
Rohit Sharma was adjudged the Man of the Match for his blistering 159, which was also his 8th 150+ score in ODIs.
India and West Indies will now play the decider at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack on Sunday.