In what will be a fixture sure to be remembered for years, the second ODI between India and West Indies at Visakhapatnam on Wednesday ended in an enthralling tie, after both the teams ended their respective innings on 321.
After the first ODI saw India winning an one-sided affair, many expected the second fixture to follow suite, given the performance of Windies on this tour so far. But the visitors gave out a statement, with Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope almost winning the toss for their team.
Having won the toss, Indian skipper Virat Kohli chose to bat first. The hosts didn't have the greatest of starts, with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma falling early on. But Kohli, along with the support of Ambati Rayudu, steadied the ship and took the innings forward.
The 29-year-old continued on where he left in the first ODI. He mixed caution with aggression, milking singles and doubles while getting boundary almost every over. On the other end, Rayudu was playing the anchor's role, though, still managing to score at a strike rate of over 90. The duo shared a brilliant 139-run stand by the time Rayudu was dismissed.
Despite the setback, Kohli kept on going, and reached his 37th ODI century while becoming the fastest bastman to 10,000 ODI runs. He shared 43-run partnership with MS Dhoni and 59-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja, taking the lead role while helping India to a very good score of 321 for 6 in 50 overs, scoring an unbeaten 157 in the process.
Chasing over six runs per over on a wicket which was slow, Windies made the worst possible start, losing three wickets in regular intervals. At one point, they were 78 for 3, looking down at a heavy defeat. But Hetmyer and Hope had other ideas!
Hetmyer took the attack to the Indian bowlers, while on the other hand, Hope kept on going at just less than a run a ball. For the middle period in the game, the Indian bowlers had no clue what to do, given the clean striking of Hetmyer. The 21-year-old scored 94 of just 64 balls, which included an astonishing seven sixes.
But the 143-run stand between the two came to an abrupt end, with Hetmyer mistiming a shot of Yuzvendra Chahal, and skipper Kohli completing a simple catch. The wicket slowed down Windies' charge, though, from one end, Hope kept on going. He formed a 32-run partnership with Ricardo Powell, before the latter was dismissed. It proved to be the game changer for both the teams.
The visitors needed just 65 runs in the final 11 overs, but they somehow imploded. Jason Holder, who was new to the crease, took a lot of time to get going, putting all pressure on Hope to take the attack. By the time the Windies skipper was dismissed, the visitors were staring at yet another defeat, needing 22 from 16 balls.
Hope though, kept his composure, and took the game to the very last over. Needing 14 to win, Windies managed 13 runs, which included scoring a boundary of the last ball to end the stunning fixture in a tie.