Twice West Indies were in positions to win and threw away the second MyTeam11 ODI clash against India at the Queen's
Park Oval in Port-of-Spain by 59 runs on Sunday.
Set 270 runs to win in 46 overs, after a brilliant hundred by Indian skipper Virat Kohli, the West Indies were bowled
out for 210 with five overs to go.
At one point the West Indies were handily placed at 147 for three after 27 overs when Shimron Hetmyer had enough and decided to throw his wicket away for 18. Windies came back to be 179 for four after 34 overs when Nicolas Pooran had
enough and he decided to get out of the heat and retreat to the comfort of the pavilion for 42.
Frustrated fans started filing out of the Oval with about 10 overs to go, disgusted by another gutless display from the Caribbean side. Foreign to winning ODI matches, the players seemed as if they needed a GPS to take them to victory. The Indians stayed calm and without doing anything spectacular they were able to register the win, as they took a 1-0 lead behind a 59 -run victory. Evin Lewis top-scored with 65 off 80balls with eight fours and a six. He as well threw away his hand, as he scooped a delivery that was too far away from him to Kohli at covers.
Earlier, Chris Gayle made just 11 runs but it was enough to take him to the summit, in terms of runs scored for the
West Indies in ODI cricket. He went past the legendary West Indies and T&T batting star Brian Lara right in his backyard.
Lara, 50, finished his career with 10,348 runs in 299 ODIs and when Gayle, 39, reached seven he went past the great man. He,
however, did not last long enough to make an impression in the match, as he left for 11 - leg-before to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The big left-hander made what can only be called an emotional review which the Windies lost.
Earlier, India won the toss and although umpire Nigel Long made a mistake third ball, the review system was right there to correct it and Sheldon Cottrell was saluting the small crowd on hand. Shikar Dhawan was out leg before for two and life was good in the Caribbean.
Kohli stepped in and hardly put a foot wrong, as he worked the ball around effortlessly. All the while, the crowd was
still poor in the stands and even outside one would have seen longer lines by Nick's Bread and Channa
parlour in Charlieville.
The West Indies toiled well in the earlies and soon had the dangerous Rohit Sharma back in the hut. Kohli, however,
stood as strong as Mahatma Ghandi Ji, as the West Indies just could not breach his defence.
He reached to his half-century off 57 balls with seven fours and found an able ally in Shreyas Iyer and they peppered the West Indies bowlers. During the mid-innings, West Indies lost the plot and Kohli was able to have it his way. Iyer matched him shot for shot and then their century partnership was raised, his contribution was 46 and Kohli's 52.
In the process of their 125-run fourth-wicket partnership, Kohli got to his 42nd ODI century off 112 balls with 10 fours
and a six.
He continued his love affair with the West Indies bowlers, as he recorded his eighth-century against them in ODIs. Only
Sachin Tendulkar has more hundreds against a single opposition and that is nine against Australia.
Kohli also took only 34 innings to reach 2000 runs against the West Indies, which is the least by any batsman against a single opposition. The previous record was 37 innings by Rohit Sharma against Australia. The right is also the first batsman to score 2000 runs against the West Indies in ODIs.
Kohli finally fell for 120 off 125 balls with 14 fours and a six. Iyer who caught the eye got a crisp 71 off 68 balls with five fours and a six. Carlos Brathwaite again returned the figures with 3/53, while Cottrell was also good with 1/49 and all-rounder Roston Chase was very good giving away only 37 runs from his 10 overs, in which he nabbed one wicket.
The teams, not so sure the fans will return to the Oval on Wednesday to play the third and final match of the series with India looking to add to their 3-0 T20 triumph.
INDIA 279 for seven off 50 overs (Virat Kohli 120, Shreyas Iyer 71; Carlos Brathwaite 3-53)
WEST INDIES 210 off 42 overs (Evin Lewis 65, Nicholas Pooran 42; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-31, Mohammed Shami 2-39, Kuldeep Yadav 2-59)