IND vs WI: Rohit, Rahul tons and Kuldeep hat-trick guide India to series-levelling win

A 227-run opening partnership helped India beat West Indies by 107 runs in the second ODI in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday and level the series 1-1.

India's Kuldeep Yadav, who took his second ODI hattrick on Wednesday, celebrates the wicket of West Indies' Jason Holder with player-of-the-match Rohit Sharma in Visakhapatnam.   -  K_R_DEEPAK

Wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s hat-trick proved the icing on the cake after openers Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul’s brilliant centuries as India scripted a 107-run win against the West Indies in the second ODI at the Dr. YSR-ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Wednesday.

The victory helped Kohli’s men pull level and take the series to the decider at Cuttack on December 22.

A superb piece of fielding by Shreyas Iyer from the deep to run out Shimron Hetmyer and a beauty from left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja to castle Roston Chase turned the contest on its head. Pacer Shardul Thakur had struck the first blow, inducing a false shot from opener Evin Lewis who skied to deep midwicket.

READ | India vs West Indies: Kuldeep Yadav becomes first Indian to take two ODI hat-tricks

Lewis’ partner Shai Hope, who was dropped on zero at second slip by Rahul off seamer Deepak Chahar, put on a 106-run stand for the fourth wicket with a belligerent Nicholas Pooran. 

The left-hander, too, earned a reprieve on 22 when fielder Chahar grassed him off Jadeja. However, once pacer Mohammed Shami sent back Pooran, who pulled straight to the deep fielder, and dismissed Kieron Pollard for a first-ball duck — the West Indies skipper had earlier removed Virat Kohli for a golden duck — the chase unravelled. 

Kuldeep, who had taken a hat-trick in an ODI against Australia in 2017 in Kolkata, sent back Hope, Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph off successive deliveries to become the first Indian to claim two hat-tricks in ODIs. 

In a remarkable coincidence, the chinaman bowler had performed the feat against the Aussies in the 33rd over too!

- Rohit, Rahul slam tons -

When India was asked to bat first, Rohit served another reminder that he is more dangerous when he’s slow off the blocks. 

After a cautious start, he went on to score his 28th ODI century, outscoring Rahul who had begun more aggressively. For Rahul, this was his third ODI hundred, and the first at home. 

The two put on 227 for the opening wicket, dashing Pollard’s hopes of making early inroads on a pitch which offered little for the bowlers.

India's Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul complete a single during their 227-run opening partnership against West Indies on Wednesday.   -  K_R_DEEPAK

 

Rahul blazed away at the start, the six over point off Jason Holder the pick of the shots. He also smashed debutant left-arm spinner Khary Pierre over long-on for a six. 

Rohit, who was dropped on 70, pulled pacer Joseph nonchalantly over fine-leg for a six and then hit a stunning shot over cover off Holder, even falling in the process. 

Rahul, who reached his century with a half-pull off Joseph, soon perished to the same bowler.

Skipper Kohli arrived to a thunderous roar at the venue where he has scored three ODI centuries, but there was a deafening silence soon as he fell for a rare first-ball duck. Pollard, bowling his first over, dug one short and Kohli mistimed his pull to be caught inside the circle. 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS | INDIA VS WEST INDIES, AS IT HAPPENED

Rohit, who looked good for another double century in this format, fell to left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell in the 44th over.

The Indians weren’t finished yet as Shreyas, who scored his fourth consecutive half-century, and southpaw Rishabh Pant hammered 73 in just four overs. 

Pant’s scoring sequence off Cottrell read 6, 0, 4, 6, 4, 4 (46th over) while in the next, Shreyas carted Chase all around (6, 6, 4, 6, 6). 

The teams observed a two-minute silence before the start in memory of West Indies batting legend Basil Butcher, who passed away on Monday.

- Fan enters ground, touches Rohit Sharma's feet -

It was the turn of Rohit Sharma to encounter a fan who touched his feet and spent a few seconds right in the middle of the ground even as the West Indian chase against India was on in the second ODI.

Just at the start of the 27th over, when the fielders were getting ready to take positions, Rohit who was at mid-on, was clearly amused when the fan crossed over the fence and charged towards him and touched his feet before being whisked away by the security and groundstaff.

It may be recalled that during the third Test match between India and South Africa in November at this very venue, Indian captain Virat Kohli experienced a similar incident when a fan intruded on to the field, attempted a selfie before before he was taken away from the ground.

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