India rode on half-centuries from Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to post 287 for 8, a competitive total on a sluggish pitch. However, Hetmyer (139 off 106) and and Hope (102* off 151) shared a 218-run stand for the second wicket to make light work of the contest as West Indies won with 13 balls to spare.
West Indies were up against a stiff chase and the task got tougher when opener Sunil Ambris was lbw to Deepak Chahar in the fifth over. From there on, though, it was a Hetmyer-Hope show.
The partnership was an exhibition in producing results through contrasting styles. Hope played his role to perfection, that of an anchor. He took his own time, got through good spells, and allowed Hetmyer to attack.
And attack he did, in style. He negated India’s plans of slipping in a few quick overs from part-timers Kedar Jadhav and Shivam Dube, taking them to the cleaners. And once India got Ravindra Jadeja in, he took the attack to another level. He enjoyed the ball turning in to him, sending it over the on-side boundaries for massive sixes. A six off the backfoot straight down the ground was a standout shot.
Hetmyer reached his half-century off 50 balls, even as Hope continued to take his time. Hope got his half-century in as many as 92 balls, but it didn’t matter as Hetmyer took care of the run-rate.
Hetmyer accelerated after his half-century, taking on every bowler, without slogging wildly. Even cramps could’t stop him. His century came on 85 balls, after which he shifted gears even further. India had a chance when Hetmyer mistimed Chahar to long on at 106 but Shreyas Iyer dropped a sitter. By the time Iyer redeemed himself, West Indies had got closer to victory. Hope crossed his century and saw through the game with Nicholas Pooran at the other end.
Barring Chahar to an extent, each of India’s bowlers struggled. Shivam Dube had a forgettable debut conceding 68 runs from 7.5 overs.
Earlier, Iyer (70 off 88) and Pant (71 off 69) revived India after they lost three early wickets. The duo shared a 114-run stand for the fourth wicket after India lost opener KL Rahul (6) and skipper Virat Kohli (4) in the seventh over of the innings. It was Iyer’s third consecutive ODI half-century.
Each of India’s top three were undone by the lack of pace on the pitch. Sheldon Cottrell got two in an over as Rahul got a leading edge to mid-wicket and Kohli inside edged a slower ball. Rohit Sharma (36 off 56) got a start but could not convert it into a big knock as he pulled Alzarri Joseph straight to mid wicket.
India were in a spot of bother at 80 for 3 in the 19th over on a sluggish pitch with a young middle order.
Iyer and Pant stood up, showing application and skill on a tough pitch. They took their time to get going after which they opened up showing their strokeplay.
Iyer showed class cutting the spinners Chase and Hayden Walsh. Pant assessed the pitch well and curbed his natural instincts initially. The first six of the innings came in the 28th over when Pant smashed Roston Chase over mid-wicket. Walsh was taken for 31 runs in 5 overs.
Iyer looked set for a big knock but perished against the run of play, when he flicked Joseph straight to Pollard a mid wicket. Pant fell going for a big hit, caught by Shimron Hetmyer in the deep of Pollard’s bowling.
Ravindra Jadeja (21 off 21) and Kedar Jadhav (40 off 35) shared a crucial 59-run stand for the sixth wicket to push India past 280. Jadeja was run out in a controversial manner when he was given out, although rightly, after a delay by the umpires.
Cottrell (2/46 from 10 overs including 3 maidens), Keemo Paul (2/41) and Alzarri Joseph (2/45) were among the wickets for the visiting team.
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