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Hope Heroics Steal Kohli's Thunder As Teams Play Out Thrilling Tie in Vizag

Cricketnext Staff |October 25, 2018, 8:35 AM IST
Hope Heroics Steal Kohli's Thunder As Teams Play Out Thrilling Tie in Vizag

The second ODI between India and the Windies in Visakhapatnam turned out to be a story of two halves. The first in which Virat Kohli produced a masterclass, shattering records of various magnitudes during his 37th ODI ton to take India to 321/6, and the second where the Windies batsmen led by Shai Hopes's unbeaten 123 and Shimron Hetmyer's 64-ball 94 took the visitors to the brink.

The end result - a thrilling tie.

The Windies were in with a strong chance of chasing down the target all through with the equation eventually boiling down to 20 of the last two overs. With Hope still at the crease on 112, they would have harboured hopes of a win. But, Mohammed Shami produced a superb penultimate over conceding just the 6 runs. The last over by Umesh Yadav then had everything - a four off the pads, a wicket and a last-ball boundary. With Windies needing five to win off the last ball, Hope sliced a length delivery just wide of third man who could not prevent the ball from flying away for a four leaving mixed feeling in both camps as the visitors ended on 321/7 after their 50 overs.

Earlier, after Kohli had cantered to a second century of the series in as many games also becoming the quickest man in the history of the format to scale 10,000 runs, most would have had their money on an Indian win at the halfway stage. But, Hope and Hetmyer had other plans.

However, the start of the Windies run-chase was more of a flatter to deceive story with boundaries flowing aplenty but none of the batsmen sticking long enough. Kieran Powell cracked three solid fours during his innings but once again failed to capitalise falling to Shami on 18. His opening partner Chandrapaul Hemraj struck six boundaries during his knock before he was bamboozled by a Kuldeep Yadav wrong'un for a 24-ball 32. Samuels, then coming in at No. 4 started off with three fours against Kuldeep but he too fell soon for 13 to a leg-break that kissed the outside of his off-stump.

At 78/3 after 12 overs, Windies desperately needed someone to provide a semblance of stability to the run chase and Hope & Hetmyer did just that.

Hope, already on 15 when Hetmyer walked out gave his younger partner some time to settle down. He took a lot of the strike initially while Hetmyer kept chugging along rotating. The left-hander collected his first boundary by smashing Kuldeep over the deep midwicket fence - a shot that was soon to become the theme of the day.

What followed in the next few overs was a stunning exhibition of clean ball striking from the 21-year-old Hetmyer. He struck five massive sixes between overs 21 and 26 further proving his century in the opening ODI was no fluke as he took each and every Indian bowler apart one by one. Hope, although restrained, kept accumulating the boundaries as well with both batsmen soon completing their half-centuries.

Shimron Hetmyer

The duo added 143 runs in a mere 19.5 overs before Hetmyer on the verge of completing another ODI hundred fell to Yuzvendra Chahal top-edging a short of length delivery straight into the hands of Kohli. He fell for a 64-ball 94, his innings laced with four fours and seven sixes.

Rovman Powell (18) came and went even as Hope kept plundering boundaries at will. He soon notched up his second ODI century in the 46th over with a brace down to fine leg but his side still had a lot to do especially with Holder not getting his timing right at the other end. It eventually went down to the last ball and in some ways it was fair the game had no winners.

In the first innings, electing to bat first, a slightly surprising choice considering teams batting second have won five of the seven encounters at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, India lost last ODI's centurion Rohit Sharma in just the third over the day to Kemar Roach for 4. The swashbuckling opener failed to keep a short and wide delivery outside off down giving Hetmyer a simple chance at backward point.

Shikhar Dhawan, having missed out in the first game of the series, stared positively taking a particular liking to the Windies captain smashing him for four fours in his first three overs before hitting Roach for a trademark uppercut that sailed over the third man fence. Just when it seemed Dhawan was taking his innings into top gear, off-spinner Ashley Nurse struck trapping the southpaw in front of the stumps for 29 with DRS coming to bowler's aid after the on-field umpire had adjudged it not out.

At 40/2 in the ninth over, India finally got a chance to test their middle-order. Kohli was joined in the middle by Ambati Rayudu and the duo took their time in building the innings rotating the strike at every given chance while getting the odd boundary as well. With the surface taking turn from the outset, Nurse and Devendra Bishoo were employed in tandem as early as the 11th over of the Indian innings which was thwarted with ease by both batsmen.

Rayudu got his boundary counter running with a classical cover drive off Bishoo before Kohli got into the act smashing the leg-spinner for two fours in three balls of the 18th over to bring up the 50-run partnership for the third wicket between the two. He had a slice of luck on 44 when he misread a back of a hand slower delivery from debutant Obed McCoy and ended up miscuing a lofted drive. Holder stationed at mid-off ran back after the swirling ball and seemed to have it covered only to fluff the chance at the last moment.

There was no looking back for Kohli thereafter. He soon got to his half-century as well - his 49th in ODIs - with a straight drive to mid-off as runs started to flow for the hosts.

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Rayudu too got going first smashing Holder with an off-drive and then creaming McCoy for two fours to reach his ninth ODI half-century. Just when it seemed a century was in for the taking for Rayudu he went for an ugly slog sweep off Nurse on 73 only to see his stumps in a mess.

Kohli, though unperturbed by the fall of the wicket signalled his intentions loud and clear with the most gorgeous flick off Holder that hit the hoardings at the deep midwicket fence on the bounce and then sliced Samuels wide of short third man for another four that brought him one short of the 10,00-run mark. He reached the coveted milestone in just his 205th innings with a push down to long on sending the raucous Vizag crowd into a frenzy. He became the fastest batsman, both in terms of career-span and batting innings, to join the elite 10,000-Club. Tendulkar took 259, Ganguly 263 and Ponting 266.

MS Dhoni (20) at the other started off his innings in style smashing Samuels down the ground for a six but never looked comfortable in the middle and was soon castled by a cleverly disguised slower delivery by McCoy who claimed his maiden ODI wicket. Rishabh Pant, coming in at No.6, then hit a couple of fours in his first ODI innings before falling lbw to Samuels for 17 as India found themselves on 248/5 in the 44th over.

This is when Kohli decided to hit top gear. He notched up his hundred in 105 balls with a cracking backfoot punch off Samuels before cutting loose. McCoy was the first to bear the brunt of Kohli's onslaught with the Indian captain carting the debutant for two mammoth sixes over long on in the 47th over before depositing Roach for two fours and a six in the very next over. The final over the innings saw him notch up his 150 - a fourth 150+ score in ODIs for Kohli. He eventually finished on an unbeaten 129-ball 157, his innings studded with 13 fours and four sixes.

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