Darren Sammy held his nerve and stayed there till the end to inspire the West Indies script a two-wicket win over India in the second of the third One-Day Internationals (ODI) at the Dr.Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here Sunday.
The all-rounder's 45-ball unbeaten 63, with four hits to and one six, helped the visitors register their first win on the India tour with three balls to spare.
The visitors did not get off to a good start, losing two wickets - Johnson Charles (12) and Marlon Samuels (8) - in the first six overs with the score only at 23.
But opener Kieran Powell (59) and Darren Bravo (50) put together an important 100-run partnership for the third wicket to put the Windies' chase back on track.
The Caribbean side lost a few wickets in the middle overs but another good 82-run partnership continued their chase against the climbing run rate. Lendl Simmons (62) and Sammy (63 not out) took the Windies from 185/5 to 267/6.
However, two quick wickets in the death overs poised the match for an exciting finish but Sammy made sure the visitors reached the target.
Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, offie Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami scalped two wickets each while Mohit Sharma took one.
Earlier, Virat Kohli missed out on a hundred by just one run before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s fiery knock propelled India to a challenging 288 for seven.
Electing to bowl, 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.
Kohli showed calmness to soothe the nerves but only to fall victim to a rash pull as India were in danger after losing two wickets for 15 runs in the batting powerplay.
But once again Dhoni stood to the task with an unbeaten 51, his 50th ODI half-century, to give India a decent total to defend.
Dhoni slammed three sixes and four boundaries in his 40-ball knock in an entertaining 47-run seventh-wicket partnership with R. Ashwin.
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 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.
Rampaul sent down a bouncer, Kohli swirled his bat and Jason Holder took a low diving catch in deep fine leg.
After Rohit 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.
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.West Indies made two changes, bringing in Kieran Powell for the injured Chris Gayle, and Veerasammy Permaul in place of Narsingh Deonarine.
India also made one change, bringing in Mohit Sharma for Jaydev Unadkat.
India: 288 for 7 on 50 overs.(Virat Kohli 99, MS Dhoni 51 not out; Ravi Rampaul 4/60).
West Indies: 289 for 8 in 49.3 overs. (Darren Sammy 63, not out, Lendl Simmons 62; R Ashwin 2/37)
Teams: India: M S Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Rohit Sharma, Shikar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma.
West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Kiran Powell, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Lindl Simmons, Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, V Permaul, Jason Holder, Ravi Rampaul.