Despite Virat Kohli’s third consecutive century in ODIs, India lost to West Indies in the 3rd ODI by 43 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune on Saturday, thus leveling the five-match series 1-1 with two more matches to go.
Despite Virat Kohli’s third consecutive century in ODIs, India lost to West Indies in the 3rd ODI by 43 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune on Saturday, thus leveling the five-match series 1-1 with two more matches to go.

Despite Virat Kohli’s third consecutive century in ODIs, India lost to West Indies in the 3rd ODI by 43 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune on Saturday, thus leveling the five-match series 1-1 with two more matches to go.

Shai Hope was the star for West Indies compiling a resolute 95 that laid the foundation for a competitive total of 283/9 on a two-paced track, which was followed by a disciplined bowling attack led by Ashley Nurse.

Chasing a target of 284, Kohli was the key man – and the in form one – for India and it did look like the skipper would shepherd India in another run chase before he was undone by a Marlon Samuels quicker one that breached Kohli’s defence in the 41st over.

Kohli was the seventh wicket to fall and essentially sealed the game for West Indies, but the game had slipped away from India when MS Dhoni departed for seven, edging one off West Indian skipper Jason Holder as India found themselves in a spot of bother at 194/5 in the 36th over.

India’s middle-order conundrum came to the fore once India’s prolific opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were sent packing within the first 20 overs.

Rohit got a peach of a delivery from Holder in the second over losing the middle stump. He departed for 8. Kohli and Dhawan then put on 79 for the second wicket, but Dhawan fell to the off spinner Nurse for the second straight time, leg before wicket attempting an expansive sweep.

Ambati Rayudu, India’ designated No.4, played a good hand of 24 before an error in judgment had him playing one on to his stumps off Obed McCoy. Rishabh Pant, promoted ahead of Dhoni, showed flashes of brilliance during his 24-run knock, but managed to stay in the middle for just 18 balls before becoming Nurse’s second scalp of the day.

All this while, Kohli looked at ease and motored along for his third straight ODI hundred – the first Indian batsman to do that – but he too was bogged down by his own standards by some smart bowling in the middle-orders by Nurse (10-0-43-2) and debutant Fabian Allen (10-0-52-0). Dhoni’s dismissal shifted the momentum in WI’s favour as without the extra batsman in Ravindra Jadeja, who was replaced by Khaleel Ahmed for this match, India’s tail was exposed with nearly 90 runs to win.

Kohli tried to marshal, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar flashed hard at one from McCoy and was caught in front of square. An over later, Kohli went back to pull a length ball in Samuel’s first over, completing missing the ball and departed for 107.

West Indies then wrapped up the match bowling out India for 240, winning the match by 43 runs. Samuels ended with 3/12 in his 3.4 overs.

Earlier, After Kohli won the toss for the third straight time, he opted to bowl first, handing returning Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar the first crack at the two-paced track. And the duo returned the favour with Bhuvneshwar bowling a tidy first spell of four overs giving away just 16 runs, while Bumrah sent back both the openers inside the first ten overs.

Hope, continuing from his 123 not out from the tied second ODI, held the innings together despite the third straight failure of experienced Samuels. Shimron Hetmyer, who had made a 64-ball 94 at Vizag, started well but was soon picked up by Kuldeep Yadav.

Skipper Holder stuck around for a brief while, but regular strikes meant India kept themselves ahead before Nurse’s 22-ball 40-run assault took a little bit of shine off India’s bowling performance.

For India, Bhuvneshwar had a rather forgettable comeback conceding 70 runs in his 10 overs taking one wicket while Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers returning figures of 10-1-35-4. Kuldeep claimed 2/52.

Brief Scores: West Indies 283/9 (Shai Hope 95, Ashley Nurse 40; Jasprit Bumrah 4/35) beat India 240 (Virat Kohli 107, Shikhar Dhawan 35; Marlon Samuels 3/12) by 43 runs.