Ahmedabad, Dec 6: Windies beat India by 16 runs in the third one day international played at Ahmedabad on Tuesday to keep the series alive. India lost by 17 runs despite Rohit Sharma's heroics as a great batting display by two allrounders, Andre Russell and Darren Sammy and Rampaul's effort saw Windies pull off a victory against India. Ravi Rampaul was awarded the man of the match for claiming 4 wickets and helping the visitors register a victory.
[Scorecard: 3rd ODI; India Vs West Indies, Ahmedabad]
The recent loss, marked their first home defeat in 12 games, as Indians choked at the start of the innings by losing quick wickets.
Another valiant knock from Rohit Sharma was in vain, as the talented youngster scored 95 to help India reach 200 and showed some signs of a victory. It wasn't a fluent innings as wickets tumbled on one end, and looked like India would be bundled out soon, as they were reeling at 90-5 after 17 overs.
Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin (31) gave India some hope as they waited for an opportunity to score runs and tried to keep the score board active by taking singles and rotating the strike. The duo added 91 runs for the 7th wicket marking the highest partnership ever.
Another heartening sight was the last pair's game changing abilities apart from Rohit Sharma's form as Abhimanyu Mithun (23) took the responsibility to punishing the deliveries during the death overs which requires a lot of risk, which was indeed a good sign as he could be another all-rounder like R Ashwin if he focuses on his batting too.
When it looked like Mithun is going to take India safer towards the target, attempted a delivery which hit his pads, and was trapped leg before the wicket which ended India's chase as they were bundled out for 244 falling 17 runs short.
Parthiv Patel did play his bit in the third one dayer after failing to score runs in the first two matches, his knock of 39 did help India in the chase as the top order had collapsed by the end of 10 overs. Patel was looking good, as he scored at a brisk pace, and when people started hoping for an Indian win, he disappointed too.
Earlier, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir both were dismissed for a nought in the second over by Rampaul, who again proved his worth by claiming 4 wickets in the match to be aptly adjudged the man of the match. Virat Kohli, the star of the 2nd ODI also failed to guide India to victory as he fell for 20 after being trapped leg before the wicket by Sunil Narine. Suresh Raina disappointed again after being dismissed for 2.
Windies bowlers made merry as they celebrated after the fall of the openers as they sensed a victory in sight. Ravi Rampaul was the centre of attraction again as he picked up 4 Indian wickets to help Windies beat India by 16 runs. Spinner Sunil Narine picked up 2 wickets while Samuels and Roach got one wicket each.
Earlier, Skipper Darren Sammy (41*) and Andre Russell's (40*) breezy innings helped Windies score 260/5 in 50 overs. India were set a target of 261 to win off 50 overs in the third one day international at Ahmedabad.
After losing wickets in quick succession, Windies got the highest partnership of the match, 79 runs off just 5.4 overs after Pollard's dismissal helping the team post a decent score of 260/5 in their quota of 50 overs.
When it looked like Windies will be bundled out for below 200, these two batsmen showed resistance and blazed the way to reach 250 plus as Indian bowlers looked in awe. The last two overs of the innings fetch the Windies 23 and 20 runs respectively and have scored 9 runs off the last 7 overs exposing the traditional problem India has been facing since a long time- the death overs.
Otherwise, Indians did fairly well to reduce Windies to 181/5 after 44.2 overs. Vinay Kumar being the pick of the bowlers as he picked up two wickets while others got one each.
Pollard and Ramdin too played extremely well as the duo added 55 runs for the 4th wicket. Jadeja pulled off a blinder to dismiss in-form Pollard for 29 while Ramdin also made his way back to the pavillion as he nicks a Yadav delivery to give Parthiv his third catch of the match. Vinay Kumar leads the wicket table with two wickets.
Samuels, scored his 22nd half century which included 5 boundaries and a six before being dismissed by Ashwin for 58. His partnership with Bravo was very crucial as the pair piled up 55 runs for the 3rd wicket before Bravo had to leave the field due to a hamstring problem leaving him an option of batting lower down the order as he was unbeaten on 26 while he retired from the field.
Earlier, Indian skipper Virender Sehwag won the toss and put Windies to bat as Abhimanyu Mithun and Vinay Kumar gave India a perfect start by dismissing their openers early. As Windies were building a partnership, Mithun removed Danza Hyatt who looked like going for a big score as he was involved in a partnership of 40 runs for the 2nd wicket with Marlon Samuels.
Simmons who scored a half century in the 2nd one day international at Visakhapatnam to help the team reach 269/9 was dismissed for 1 by Vinay Kumar in the third over of the match.
Abhimanyu Mithun returned to the side after nearly 16 months, replacing Aaron and picked up one wicket. But he went on to give 47 runs off 7 overs. While Windies settled for a change as spinner Sunil Narine replaces Adrian Barath in the third one dayer at Ahmedabad.
Windies on the other hand, put up a great fight in both the one-dayers, and were desperately waiting for a victory. They indeed deserve the victory as they outplayed India in the third one dayer at Ahmedabad. With Windies winning the third ODI, the series is equally poised at 2-1. Though India have managed to get a lead, it depends on how they fare at Indore on Dec 8 as they play their 4th ODI against West Indies. Time to get back to basics, top order needs to fire else, a similar result awaits India at Indore.