DECEMBER 15, 2019
Brief Scorecard: West Indies 291 for 2 (Hetmyer 139, Hope 102*) beat India 287 for 8 (Pant 71, Iyer 70, Jadhav 40, Paul 2-40, Joseph 2-45, Cottrell 2-46) by 8 wickets
CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU – At the toss, India captain Virat Kohli said he was ‘quite surprised’ with West Indies’ decision to bowl on a sluggish Chennai wicket in the 1st ODI. He said he expected the pitch to slow down in the 2nd innings.
But none of his predictions came right on Sunday as Shimron Hetmyer sent the India bowlers on a leather hunt to help West Indies seal an emphatic win and a 1-0 series lead in the 3-match rubber.
Chasing 288, West Indies lost opener Sunil Ambirs early. However, a 218-run stand — West Indies’ 2nd highest partnership vs India in ODIs — between Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope made sure the visitors eased to what looked like a stiff target.
It was also the highest successful chase in ODI cricket by any team at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope shared a massive stand. – BCCI
Hetmyer, Hope star with match-winning hundreds
Hetmyer was the star of the day for West Indies as the left-handed batsman mixed aggression with a bit of caution as he dominated the Indian attack that looked ordinary on Sunday. Hetmyer got his 5th ODI hundred — his 2nd against India as West Indies completed the chase in just 47.5 overs.
Opener Shai Hope finished things off with a patient 102 (153) as the opener started succeeding in his mission to stay unbeaten till his team crossed the finish line. It was Hope’s 8th hundred in ODIs and it came at the right time for West Indies.
Hetmyer was severe against the Indian spinners, especially against Chennai Super Kings’ lead spinner Ravindra Jadeja as he tonked him for a couple of sixes. Hetmyer never allowed the Indian spinners to settle down and took the occasional risks against the pacers to keep the scoreboard moving at a healthy pace.
The big-hitting West Indies batsman hit 139 in 106 balls, smashing 7 sixes and 11 boundaries before getting out in the 39th over. He had put West Indies within touching distance of a win by then.
Opener Hope had all the time to build his innings. He played the anchor’s role to perfection and never bothered about his strike rate during the partnership with Hetmyer. Nicholas Pooran came up with a handy 29* as West Indies dusted off the chase with ease.
India’s bowling effort was uninspiring once again and their sloppy catching didn’t help their cause as well.
Rishabh Pant regains form after top-order failure
Earlier in the day, India captain Virat Kohli suffered a rare failure as he played on when batting on 4. Opener KL Rahul failed to build on a good T20I series as he was dismissed for 6.
Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer steadied the ship but the India vice-captain departed for 36, putting pressure on the untested middle-order.
However, Rishabh Pant came up with a matured innings, hitting 71 off 69 balls. He stitched a 114-run stand with Shreyas Iyer who hit his 4th successive fifty-plus score (70) in ODIs.
India though kept losing wickets in batches and at regular intervals. They lost well-set batsmen in Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant in quick succession.
Kedar Jadhav, who returned to the team after more than 3 months, made a handy 35-ball 40 to give the team the much-needed impetus in the end overs.
West Indies, especially Sheldon Cottrell and Keemo Paul, bowled tight overs at the death as India managed just 72 in the last 10 overs. Pacers Alzarri Joseph, Cottrell and Paul picked up 2 wickets each while captain Kieron Pollard got the big wicket of Rishabh Pant.
Having sealed a 1-0 lead early in the series, West Indies have a golden opportunity to seal a famous series win when the two teams meet in Visakhapatnam for the 2nd ODI on Wednesday, December 18.