Visakhapatnam: Darren Sammy produced a game-changing unbeaten 63 under pressure as West Indies pulled off a thrilling two-wicket win in the second one-dayer against India to level the three-match series 1-1, in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
India had put on a challenging 288 for seven when Virat Kohli scored 99 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni stroked his way to an unbeaten 51 after being invited to bat on a slow track at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. (Match Scorecard | Highlights)
Kieran Powell (59) and Darren Bravo (50) came up with a 100-run partnership to help West Indies recover from 23 for 2 before Sammy led the chase with an unbeaten 63 from 45 balls studded with four fours and an equal number of sixes. (Read: Virat Kohli out for 99, misses hat-trick of tons at Vizag)
West Indies lost wickets in a heap towards the end and huffed and puffed to win with three balls to spare as Indian bowlers struggled to grip the ball due to dew factor.
Sammy joined Lendl Simmons (62) when West Indies had lost five wickets for 187 runs and they created a match-winning crucial 82-run partnership which helped the Caribbean side score its first win since their arrival to India.
They had lost the Test series 0-2 but now have given themselves a chance to take the ODI series. The two teams will travel to Kanpur for the series-deciding third match on Wednesday.
For India, Kohli did a tremendous job before falling victim to a rash pull and missing out on a century. Kohli had to step in early after fall of Rohit Sharma in the fifth over and he batted sensibly, not going for the cross batted shots, even as the other Indians fell trying to speed up the run-rate.
Kohli's knock came off 100 balls with nine boundaries.
Dhoni once again stood to the task with his 50th ODI half-century, to give India a decent total to defend. He slammed three sixes and four boundaries in his 40-ball knock in an entertaining 47-run seventh wicket partnership with R Ashwin.
West Indies scored 45 runs came in four overs from 41st to 44, during which Simmons was dropped by Yuvraj Singh off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, something that took the match away from the Indians.
It was a good toss to win for Dwyane Bravo as the pitch, which was under cover for two days because of incessant rains, behaved slow giving a testing time to Indian batsmen.
After the jittery start, the Windies looked firmly in control going at a healthy five-plus an over in their series-saving match. Luck too aided them as Darren Bravo was dropped thrice in four deliveries.
First, Bravo was dropped by Dhoni from a thin edge behind the stumps and one ball later it was Suresh Raina who let off thick edge flying at the slip.
First ball in the next over, Bravo pushed one hard against Shami who got his hand to the ball but the talented Windies batsman was running on luck to complete his half-century.
Just when it looked India are letting the match slip from their hand, off-spinner Ashwin finally scalped Bravo with Dhoni helding on to a thick edge.
Powell was set after completing his half-century and the equation -- 142 from 144 balls -- demanded the Windies to occupy the crease but he stepped out to Ashwin to become the off-spinner's second victim.
The Windies lost fifth wicket in skipper Dwyane Bravo (18) and just when it looked they would let it slip again Simmons and Sammy showed fine character in their match-turning partnership.
Earlier, electing to bowl, unsure of how the wicket would behave after two days of incessant rains, the West Indies kept India under pressure for most of the time but the hosts scored 62 runs off the last five overs to steal the thunder from the Caribbeans.
The incessant rains due to 'Cyclone Helen' had forced the ground to remain under cover for two days and the wicket demanded the batsmen to show patience and play their shots in the V with straight bats.
Kohli showed how to do it with ease and finesse. He took the path of the singles and doubles with the occasional boundaries. He ran for 53 ones and five twos with only nine fours to inch one run shy of a third hundred here.
It was then perhaps that the elegant Indian batsman lost his patience briefly as paceman Ravi Rampaul denied him a well-deserved century.
Rampaul sent down a bouncer, Kohli swirled his bat and Jason Holder took a low diving catch in deep fine leg.
Sharma had a rare off day at his mother's home town when he was taken at second slip to bring an end to a dream run, during which he scored one double ton, two 100s and an equal number of half-centuries in his last five outings.
After Sharma's dismissal India crawled to 48/1 in the first powerplay. The West Indies clearly had an upper hand dismissing the other opener, Shikhar Dhawan, with an addition of another 48 runs.
Included in place of Narsingh Deonarine, Veersammy Permaul made Indians sweat under the scorching sun reducing them to 69/2 after Dhawan miscued one against the turn to be caught at slip.
Having remained under cover with the ground under water, the outfield and the wicket was very much unlikely of the belter that the ACA-VCA Stadium used to offer.
The mighty Indian batting line-up had to fight for every run in the first 25 overs, in a phase where Permaul and Sunil Narine had put them the visitors an edge.
Kohli had a stroke of luck when on 64 when skipper Bravo dropped him off his own follow through.
Suresh Raina got an easy reprieve on 13 after being dropped by Lendl Simmons in an easy catch as the Windies fielding looked ordinary.