India were sloppy in the field again and dropped three catches, one of them proved decisive as Lendl Simmons, one of the beneficiaries, went on to hit an unbeaten half-century to guide West Indies to a convincing eight-wicket win in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

West Indies overhauled the target of 171 in 18.3 overs with Simmons the top-scorer finishing with an unbeaten 67 off 45 to draw level at 1-all in the three-match series.

It was a combined batting display from the tourists with the opening pair of Simmons and Evin Lewis (40) doing well to settle on a pitch where batting wasn’t relatively easy compared to the belter in Hyderabad. However, they were lucky to have been reprieved once each, in the same over of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

First up Simmons was dropped by Washington Sundar when he was batting on 6 and two balls later, Lewis was lucky when wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant failed to hold onto an outside edge when he was on 16.

The pair added 73, setting the base for the batters to come. Sundar cleaned up Lewis in the 10th over but Shimron Hetmyer struck three sixes to keep West Indies on track.

With West Indies finding boundaries regularly, India needed a moment of magic which duly came in the 14th over when captain Virat Kohli completed a stunning running catch to remove Hetmyer and kept himself from touching the boundary despite the momentum.

However, Nicholas Pooran struck four fours and two sixes in put down hopes of any late comeback, remaining unbeaten on 38 off 18 and alongside Simmons, pushed the series to the decider which will be played in Mumbai.

Earlier, India promoted Shivam Dube to No. 3 and the rookie allrounder made full use of the chance, hitting a maiden international half-century to lead India to a competitive 170/7. Dube scored 54 off 30 with three fours and four sixes on what was a sticky wicket with Hayden Walsh (2/28) and Kesrick Williams (2/30) the pick of the West Indies bowlers.

KL Rahul (11), who scored a measured fifty in the series opener, was snuffed out early with Khary Pierre slowing down the pace after spotting the Indian getting in line for a slog-sweep. Dube then walked out instead of Kohli and the decision proved fruitful as he put on display his power-hitting skills. After getting a hang of the conditions that included a not-so-convincing hoick for his first four, Dube cut loose against Jason Holder in the eighth over with a six and four off consecutive deliveries. He then took on West Indies captain Kieron Pollard’s military pace, clubbing three sixes in his one over from which India creamed 26 runs.

He reached his fifty off the 27th delivery faced but was out after adding a boundary to his total, holing out extra cover. Meanwhile, Kohli had begun in a similar fashion as his career-best knock in Hyderabad and had reached 19 off 16 when he was removed by Kerick Williams in the 13th over. And this time, there was no notebook celebration with Williams simply putting a finger on his lips.

In Pant and Shreyas Iyer, the hosts still had firepower for a late flourish but West Indies bowlers did well to keep them quiet. Pant remained unbeaten on 33 off 22, an innings that featured three fours and a six. However, unlike Windies slow bowlers, the Indians had an off day, barring Sundar.

Brief Scores: India 170/7 (Shivam Dube 54, Rishabh Pant 33*; Hayden Walsh 2/28) lost to West Indies 173/2 (Lendl Simmons 67*, Evin Lewis 40; Washington Sundar 1/26) by eight wickets