Kohli ton in vain as Windies draws level

The Jason Holder-led side tasted victory in Pune after 22 years, beating India by 43 runs to level the series 1-1.

The Windies bowlers—spearheaded by Holder—kept their cool and saw the team through to a much-needed win.   -  prashant nakwe

The Windies don't have fond memories of Pune. The last and the only time it played in this city, way back in 1996, it was stunned by minnow Kenya in a World Cup fixture.

But 22 years later, the Jason Holder-led side turned things around, beating India by 43 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday to level the series 1-1.

The visitor played like a well-knit unit to turn the tables on a star-studded host.

Chasing 284, Virat Kohli's 38th ODI ton — first Indian to hit three back-to-back centuries — had put India in the ascendancy. But just as he threatened to take the contest away, he was cleaned up by Marlon Samuels for 107.

His departure triggered a lower middle-order collapse, ceding the advantage to the Windies.

M.S. Dhoni — after a good day behind the stumps — joined Kohli with India 112 runs short of the target, and plenty of overs to spare.

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But Dhoni was caught behind by Shai Hope off captain Holder for just seven off the last ball of the 35th over. Kohli, too, was soon gone, piling further pressure on the host.

The Windies bowlers—spearheaded by Holder—kept their cool and saw the team through to a much-needed win.

While the Windies will travel to Mumbai for the fourth ODI, scheduled on Monday, high on confidence, India will have plenty to ponder as its middle-order failed to fire, despite Kohli’s gritty ton.

Despite a sloppy start—losing opener Rohit Sharma early—Kohli anchored the ship with Shikhar Dhawan (35). And even after Dhawan was trapped leg before off Ashley Nurse, Kohli stitched small partnerships with Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant. But those were not enough.

Windies had a good outing with the bat, with Hope—who scored a ton in the second ODI—maintaining his form, scoring 95 before falling to Jasprit Bumrah.

Bumrah, who returned to the side after being rested for the first two matches, was the most effective bowler, picking four wickets for just 35 runs.

Bumrah sent both the Windies openers — Kieran Powell (21) and Chanderpaul Hemraj (15) — in his first spell to hand India the early advantage and later dismissed Hope and Ashley Nurse (40).