Virat knocks off another chase at Vizag
The Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli solidified his reputation in Day/Night chases with a supremely calm 117 to help India win the 2nd ODI against the West Indies at Visakhapatnam on Friday night.
West Indies had posted 269/9 in their innings, thanks mainly to a strong 78 amidst collapse by Lendl Simmons and a rousing 86* off just 66 balls by Ravi Rampaul, a world record score for a no. 10 batsman.
When play started after a small rain delay, Simmons could only watch as India’s bowlers scythed through WI’s batting line up with a little help from the conditions. He held his composure while 8 West Indian batsmen threw away their wickets and was the 9th wicket to fall in the 36th over with WI at 170. That was when Ravi Rampaul decided to go for broke, swinging across the line at anything even fractionally short and hitting everything fuller through the line. After 14 overs of frenetic hitting, he had put up in an unbeaten 99 run partnership for the last wicket with Kemar Roach.
India’s chase didn’t have the best start; Parthiv Patel and Gautam Gambhir were gone with not even 30 on board when Virat Kohli joined Virender Sehwag. Both survived Sehwag was being cheeky with his very very late cuts and upper cuts and had been dropped at third man by Darren Bravo when rain interrupted play with India at 47/2. Kohli picked up the pace when play resumed and Sehwag perished trying to do the same. India were 84/3 with the hero from Cuttack, Rohit Sharma joining Kohli in the middle.
The duo paced their partnership well, exploiting the spread out fields that Darren Sammy set for them when the part time bowlers were on. The asking rate had climbed to run a ball after Sehwag’s departure but Virat and Rohit did not get bogged down, milking the field and finding the occasional boundary. Both batsmen brought up their fifties in exactly 61 balls, Kohli in the 25th over and Sharma in the 35th one as they got closer to WI’s total.
Kohli’s next 50 came in just 52 balls as he brought up his second hundred at the ground in 113 balls in the 42nd over, Sharma on 64 at the other end. Two overs later with 48 required off 42 balls, they took on Andre Russell and Ravi Rampaul. 25 runs came in 11 balls with five boundaries and Kohli edged the last ball from Rampaul to the keeper to be dismissed for 117 off 123 balls.
Suresh Raina was served a short ball first up which he duly edged to the keeper, leaving India at 248/5 in 45.4 overs. With his ally in the Cuttack chase Ravindra Jadeja joining him, Rohit Sharma kept his calm and the duo knocked off the remaining runs easily, finishing the job in 48.1 overs, Sharma unbeaten on 90.
Though Ravi Rampaul made the contest possible by rescuing West Indies when they were down, Virat Kohli settled it with what has become his signature knock, a clinical yet attractive knock in a Day/Night chase. It takes hard work and great talent to establish such a reputation over a career, more so within the first few years of your career.