Axar Patel proved to be India’s unlikely hero with the bat as he scored an unbeaten 64 from just 35 balls to help India chase a big 312-run target against the West Indies in the second ODI in Port of Spain. The win saw the Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian cricket team take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match streak. Patel’s innings included five sixes and three fours. With a solid goal of 312, the visitors faltered at 205 for five in 38.4 overs, but Patel saved India with his six-hitting ability, taking the visitors home with two balls left on Sunday. Patel needed six runs on the last three balls and knocked Kyle Mayers right over the head for a six
Watch: Axar Patel’s six that took India to a win against WI in the second ODI
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It’s very special, to get it for a pivotal series-winning cause is amazing. When I went out I was aiming for 10-11 per over. We thought it would be possible because we have IPL experience,” said Patel, who was named man of the match.
“We wanted to stay calm and keep an eye on the race. This was special, because this is my first ODI since 2017, even my first 50 came here.” Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan praised the all-rounder exuberantly.
“The way Axar played was great. Our domestic cricket and IPL cricket keep us ready as we play in front of big crowds. As Axar said, he’s done it several times in IPL. That brings a big stage.” West Indian skipper Nicholas Pooran said his side lost the match “in the last six overs”. “Axar played well and we didn’t control our nerves. In the last five overs we couldn’t control things. We felt it was getting easier to hit spinners. One wicket would have opened things up but Axar played brilliant,” he said. .
Shai Hope chose to bat and produced a masterclass 135-ball 117, while skipper Nicholas Pooran showed his decisiveness with six maximums and one four on his 74 from 77 balls as the West Indies posted an impressive 311 for six.
In response, Shubman Gill (43) looked good as he hit five boundaries in his 49-ball innings to give India a good start, but captain Dhawan (13) found it difficult on the other side.
Dhawan was the first to leave with Mayers producing a stunning catch at the third man of Romario Shepherd’s bowling.
Mayers then fed India back with two quick wickets, first off a well-placed Gill and then removing Suryakumar Yadav (9), who again dragged one to his stumps.
Iyer and Samson tried to go deep into the chase with a partnership of 99 runs off 94 balls, but when they both left India still needed 105 runs from 11 overs.
It was the Patel show after that as he continued to fight despite losing Hooda and Shardul Thakur.
Previously, Hope played an anchor to perfection, adding 65 runs with opener Mayers (39), before forging another 62-run tie with Shamarh Brooks (35).
Hope then found his perfect ally in skipper Pooran as the two tied for 117 runs.
Hope, who was sacked cheaply in the first ODI, hit eight fours and three maximums in his 135-ball 115-run knockout.
For India, the spin duo Patel (1/40) and Hooda (1/42) were frugal, but Yuzvendra Chahal (1/69) was expensive as he was crushed for six sixes and two fours.
Mohammed Siraj (0/47) bowled well, but Avesh Khan (0/54 in 6 overs) had an unforgettable ODI debut, while Thakur (3/54) made up for it in the backend by three wickets.
Hope looked in full flow as he played some beautiful shots off-side before hitting the three-digit mark in his 100th ODI game with a six in the 45th left.
West Indies collected 93 runs in the last 10 overs.
“Hope’s innings were impressive, it was exceptional as a batting group. We want to win, we want to win pretty badly in the next game. That’s all we’re aiming for,” said Pooran
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