Virat Kohli’s superb 107 went in vain, as India went down by 43 runs against the West Indies at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Kohli has achieved the unique feat of becoming the first Indian batsman to score three consecutive ODI centuries, but his side have won, drawn and lost respectively in those three games.
After winning the toss and electing to field, India picked up an early wicket, with Chandrapaul Hemraj dismissed by the returning Jasprit Bumrah. Hemraj unsuccessfully tried to hook Bumrah, with MS Dhoni taking a fine running catch to dismiss the Windies opener.
One became two as Kieran Powell followed Hemraj back to the pavillion, edging Bumrah to Rohit Sharma at slip. Veteran Marlon Samuels was the next to go, falling to rookie Khaleel Ahmed. Samuels had earlier successfully reviewed against a Bumrah LBW call, but there was no doubt about his edge to Dhoni this time around.
Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer batted steadily and anchored the innings by adding 56 runs for the fourth wicket before Kuldeep Yadav broke through by getting Hetmyer stumped by Dhoni for a quickfire 37.
Windes skipper Jason Holder made a substantial contribution of 32 runs before falling to Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
When Hope was bowled by a brilliant Bumrah yorker for 95, it looked like the Windies would fall short of 250, but Ashley Nurse’s brilliant cameo of 40, ably supported by Kemar Roach helped the visitors add 56 runs in their last six overs- they recovered from 227/8 to a competitive score of 283/9.
Bumrah was the pick of the Indian bowlers, going for a miserly 3.5 an over on a wicket where everyone else went for over five. The MI star also picked up 4 wickets.
Chasing a target of 284, India started badly as Windies skipper Jason Holder produced a beauty of a delivery to knock Rohit Sharma over.
Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli anchored the innings, and added 79 runs for the second wicket, before Dhawan fell LBW to Ashley Nurse for 35.
Ambati Rayadu and Rishabh Pant got starts but failed to convert them into a big score, as the Windes bowlers kept themselves in the hunt by claiming wickets at regular intervals.
Veteran MS Dhoni’s misery with the bat continued as he fell to Jason Holder for 7.
Marlon Samuels who has had a wretched series with the bat, turned match winner with the ball, claiming the prize scalp of Virat Kohli for 107 in his first over. It was a bold move from Holder to give Samuels the ball, and the veteran, turning his arm over for the first time in this series, picked up three wickets as India were bowled out for 240 runs in 47.4 overs.
It was a disappointing end to India’s winnings- they needed 118 from 20 overs at one stage, with seven wickets in hand and Kohli and Dhoni both at the crease. However the home side’s strategy of playing five bowlers meant they had a long tail, with Bhuvneshwar batting at 7 instead of say Hardik Pandya or Jadeja, and it played into West Indies’ hands.
The fourth One day International between India and West Indies will be played on 29th October at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.