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Kohli Ton in Vain as Windies Script Sensational Comeback to Level Series

Cricketnext Staff |October 28, 2018, 8:45 AM IST
Kohli Ton in Vain as Windies Script Sensational Comeback to Level Series

Virat Kohli became the first Indian to score centuries in three consecutive One-Day International innings but it was Windies skipper Jason Holder who left Pune's Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium with a smile on his face as Windies defeated India by 43 runs in the third ODI to leave the five-match series level at 1-1 on Friday.

Asked to bat, Shai Hope, who scored a match-saving hundred in the second ODI, crafted a 113-ball 95, decorated with six fours and three maximums, before Ashley Nurse hit a quickfire 22-ball 40 to propel Windies to 283 for 9 in 50 overs despite Jasprit Bumrah's 4 for 35. In reply, Kohli hit 107 in 119 deliveries but found no support whatsoever as the home side were bundled out for 240 runs in 47.4 overs.

Holder ensured India got off to a worst possible start as the Windies skipper castled Rohit's middle-stump with a brilliant outswinger. Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli then added 79 runs for the second wicket to provide India some solidity. The duo played their shots freely and pounced on every bad delivery. Kohli announced his arrival with a couple of gorgeous drives, while Dhawan too was looking in fine touch.

It was Nurse (2 for 43) who put his hand up and pinned Dhawan right in front of the stumps for 35 to bring Windies back into the game. Coming in at No. 4, Ambati Rayudu (22) kept on rotating strike to ensure Kohli faces most of the deliveries. The Indian captain brought up his fifty with a boundary towards the deep mid-wicket boundary and then whipped debutant Fabian Allen for a maximum over long on.

While Kohli looked flawless at one end, Rayudu and Rishabh Pant (18-ball 24) played some delightful shots but couldn't convert their starts into something substantial. India needed MS Dhoni to bring his A-game but all he could manage was just seven runs, becoming Holder's second victim.

Amidst all the chaos, Kohli, who scored 140 and 157* in the first two encounters, kept going and brought up his 38th ODI century in the 38th over. The 29-year-old became the 10th batsman overall to hit hundreds in three consecutive innings but fell to Marlon Samuels few overs later to leave India in tatters. It was only going to be a matter of time before Windies wrapped up the match and it didn't take them too long to clean up the tail.

For Windies, Samuels returned 3 for 12, while Holder, Obed McCoy and Nurse scalped two wickets each. Kemar Roach too chipped in with one wicket.

Earlier, India were forced to bring back their two limited-overs ace pacers - Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar - after the way Windies batsmen batted in the first two ODIs, where they managed to amass 322 and 321 runs respectively. Kieran Powell (21) greeted Bhuvneshwar with a sweet straight drive before Chandrapaul Hemraj (15) offered a Lara-esque punch to the right-arm seamer to get the ball rolling. While Bhuvneshwar looked rusty in his return, Bumrah picked up right where he left off.

Having been smoked for a six off the previous delivery, the 24-year-old paceman came back with a well-directed bouncer that clipped Hemraj's top-edge and went high up in the air in the fine leg region. Dhoni had to run 15-16 yards and dive full stretch to complete the catch. Bumrah then also got rid of Powell with another back of a length delivery, which induced an outside edge and Rohit Sharma had to move to his right to take the catch at the first slip.

Before the dust had settled, Khaleel Ahmed dismissed Samuels for nine to reduce Windies to 55 for 3. Windies needed their in-form players Hope and Shimron Hetmyer to come good and pull them out of the woods. With scores of 106 and 94 in the first two ODIs, Hetmyer wasted no time in making his intentions clear, smashing Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav for a couple of sixes to help his team breach the three-figure mark. While the left-hander was taking the attack to the bowlers, Hope focused more on the strike rotation.

The two added 56 runs for the fourth wicket and just when the partnership was starting to look perilous, Dhoni pulled off a trademark stumping off Kuldeep's bowling to send Hetmyer back for 21-ball 37. While wickets kept falling at the other end, Hope kept the scoreboard moving with ones, twos and occasional boundaries. The wicketkeeper-batsman kept one end intact and finally found an able ally in Jason Holder.

Hope got to his seventh ODI fifty in the 33rd over and then blasted Khaleel for two sixes to show his true signs. Holder too joined in with a six off Kuldeep's bowling before falling to Bhuvneshwar for 39-ball 32. Meanwhile, Bumrah denied Hope from scoring back to back centuries by knocking him over with a peach of a yorker in the 44th over.

Windies were 227 for 8 by the end of 44 overs and it looked like India will bundle them out in no time. However, that's when Nurse and Roach joined hands to share an entertaining 56-run stand for the ninth wicket to give their team a much-required late surge. While both Nurse and Roach looked clueless against Bumrah, the two, Nurse in particular, went after Bhuvneshwar. The No. 9 batsman tonked Bhuvneshwar for three fours and a six in the 49th over to gather 21 runs off his final over.

The fourth ODI will be played at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.

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9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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