Kohli, Sharma star in India’s victory against West Indies

Visakhapatnam : Virat Kohli smashed a century and together with troubleshooter Rohit Sharma put up 163 runs for the fourth wicket as India overcame a resilent West Indies by five wickets in the second ODI here Friday.

India chased down 270 runs courtesy Kohli’s (118) second century at the venue and Sharma’s fluent unbeaten 90. The two fully entertained the capacity crowd at the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium with their hitting prowess.

The hosts confortably reached the target with 11 balls in hand and took a 2-0 lead in the five match series.

West Indies, after being bailed out of deep trouble by Lendl Simmons’ defiant 78 and Ravi Rampaul’s counterattacking 86 off 66 balls, took three wickets for 84 runs. Parthiv Patel (2), Virender Sehwag (26) and Gautam Gambhir (12), who fell to a brilliant one-handed catch by Adrian Barath, left early.

Kohli and Sharma then built up the innings and took the game away from West Indies.

Kohli, who has a century against Australia here, hit 14 fours off 123 balls and scored his eighth century in 70 ODIs. He enchanced his growing reputation of a reliable batsman when the team is chasing. It was his fourth century when India has batted second.

Sharma, who guided India’s innings in the first ODI as well which India won narrowly, was again upto the task. He stood upto the short deliveries and played some beautifully timed pull shots.

He struck seven fours and two sixes.

Earlier, Rampaul helped West Indies post a challenging total.

Coming in at No.10 when West Indies were struggling at 170/9 in 36 overs, Rampaul hit the bowlers all over the park.

He added 99 runs with Kemar Roach, staging a remarkable fightback for the West Indies.

Rampaul single-handedly stole the show towards the end and got good support from Roach, who chipped in with 24 off 36 balls. It was the highest score by a No.10 batsman in an ODI.

Before that, opener Simmons guided West Indies, who lost half their side for 63 runs after India put them in overcast conditions which led to a 15-minute delay in the start of the match.

The Indian seamers made most of the conditions early on. R. Vinay Kumar (2/43) and Umesh Yadav (3/38) swung the ball at a good pace to trouble the West Indies batsmen.

Rampaul’s maiden fifty in ODIs comprised six huge sixes and as many fours. The Trinidadian entertained the crowd with his big hits. He particularly developed a liking for the off-spin of Ravichandran Ashwin (1/74), who was the most expensive Indian bowler.

Big-hitting Kieron Pollard played a 35-run cameo in the middle of the innings, hitting Ashwin for two huge sixes before falling bat-pad in the next delivery.

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