West Indies scrambled to a one-wicket victory with 14 balls to spare over India in the second match of the tri-nation one-day international series at Sabina Park here on Sunday.
Birthday boy Kemar Roach and last man Tino Best ensured the West Indies did not complete their own destruction, turning in match saving performances.
The home side had to reply to the World Cup and Champions Trophy holders’ total of 229 for seven.
They tottered from the comfort of 142 for three in the 28th over via a rash of irresponsible shots, even though opener Johnson Charles battled to hold the innings together.
However, Charles too joined the apparent suicide pact: he was eighth out for 97 and when Sunil Narine gifted his wicket at 220 for nine, the game seemed to be headed India’s way.
It was left to the Barbadian fast bowling pair of Roach and Best to see the West Indies home amid in a nail-biting finish. India’s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli said it is not possible for the No 1 side to win everyday, but praised the team’s never-say-die spirit. “You can’t be too disappointed with these kinds of games,” said Kohli.
“We won seven games in a row in England (Champions Trophy, including the two warm-ups against Sri Lanka and Australia) and in cricket, you can’t win everything. The way the guys fought was very pleasing to see. Everyone was hungry to win,” he added.
Kohli was asked to lead the side after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni sustained an injury to his right leg in scampering to a sharp single nearing the end of the innings. “I have captained in the IPL but that’s a Twenty20 game,” Kohli said.
“This was totally unexpected. It was more thinking on the feet. It was a good experience for me,” the 24-year-old added. India take on Sri Lanka in their second match of the series in Jamaica today.