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Axar Patel batting heroics guide India to series-clinching win over West Indies

CricketAxar Patel batting heroics guide India to series-clinching win over West Indies

Port of Spain: Axar Patel smashed an unbeaten 64 to successfully guide India’s run chase home in the second ODI against West Indies in Port of Spain.

Chasing 312 for victory in an ODI is nearly always a tough ask and India looked to be in some trouble when they required 100 from the final 10 overs with Axar Patel and Deepak Hooda at the crease and just five wickets remaining.

But the duo batted sensibly when required and found the boundary when needed to chase down the required target with just two balls remaining.

With Hooda departing for 33 in the 45th over, it was left to Axar to complete the job as the all-rounder hit five sixes to finish unbeaten on 64 and guide India to victory.

Kyle Mayers and Shai Hope had given West Indies a blazing start in Port of Spain after the hosts won the toss and opted to bat first. Mayers was the more aggressive of the two openers as the left-hander found gaps in the field to fetch boundaries at will. He raced to 39 off 22 balls when India brought in Hooda, the part-time off-spinner to bowl at Mayers.

In nine overs, West Indies had already crossed 65 with Mayers on 39 when Hooda came into the attack. He sent back Mayers first ball with a loopy off break that the left-hander could only chip back to the bowler.

India’s quicks looked flat early on with Avesh Khan, on ODI debut, going for 36 runs in his first three overs. He finished with 64 runs conceded in nine overs and went wicketless in an ODI debut to forget.

Shai Hope smashed a hundred in his 100th ODI to join a select list of players in Port of Spain. The hundred, his 13th in the format, came with a towering six off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 45th over of the innings and the West Indian opener celebrated it with another big hit for six off the next ball.

Chahal went for runs on a day when India’s other spinners, Hooda and Axar, kept a leash on the scoring rate. Hope was initially sedate to start off but brought up his fifty off 69 balls in the 21st over with a six. India, however, struck in quick succession after that with the wickets of Shamarh Brooks and Brandon King off back-to-back overs from Axar Patel and Chahal.

Hope, however, found an ally in Nicholas Pooran and the duo put on a brilliant stand worth 117 runs with Pooran taking the initiative on to take the attack to the Indian bowlers. Hope continued to build on his solid start and completed his landmark hundred late in the innings. Pooran would go on make a half-century, but before the expected big acceleration in the death overs, Shardul Thakur bowled him around his legs.

Courtesy ICC

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