Ravi Rampaul and debutant Sunil Narine shared six wickets to bowl the West Indies to a crucial 16-run victory over India in the third one-day international on Monday.
Fast bowler Rampaul finished with 4-57 and off-spinner Narine with 2-34 as the West Indies bowled India out for 244 despite Rohit Sharma’s solid 95 after posting a challenging 260-5 in the must-win match in Ahmedabad.
India now lead 2-1 in the five-match series following their victories in the opening two games, with Monday’s defeat also ending their 11-match winning streak in one-day internationals at home.
Earlier, it looked like India would restrict the West Indies to a modest total when the tourists reached 167-3 after 43 overs, but skipper Darren Sammy (41 not out) and Andre Russell (40) plundered 79 off the last 34 balls.
“It was a good fightback from the boys, the way we batted and that spell from Rampaul,” Sammy said. “[Marlon] Samuels and Narine also bowled well and it was a team effort. Sharma tried to take it away, but we stuck at it.”
The hosts were reeling at 105-6, but Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin (31) rallied their team with a 91-run stand for the seventh wicket, before Narine struck a vital blow when he trapped Ashwin leg before wicket.
“It is very hard to chase when your top order fails,” India skipper Virender Sehwag said. “In the last few games, the lower order is scoring more than the top order. Until the time Rohit was there, we thought we could win the game. Unfortunately, he got run out and missed his century too.”
The West Indies also let off the India pair during the early stages of their stand, with Sammy dropping Ashwin off Narine and then Sharma off paceman Kemar Roach.
However, Sammy made amends when he ran Sharma out with a direct hit from mid-on at the non-striker’s end after the batsman had cracked one six and 10 fours in his 100-ball knock.
Abhimanyu Mithun (23) and Umesh Yadav (11 not out) gave some anxious moments to the West Indies with a 28-run stand for the last wicket, before Rampaul ended the innings when he trapped Mithun leg before wicket.
India were struggling at 8-2 in the second over following the first-ball dismissals of Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, with Rampaul taking both the wickets with his first two deliveries.
Narine, who was pressed into the attack after only four overs, did not have to wait long for his first wicket as he trapped in-form Virat Kohli (20) leg before wicket to reduce the hosts to 43-3.
Kohli was later reprimanded for showing dissent at the umpire’s decision. The 23-year-old was reluctant to leave the crease after the decision, which was a breach of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) code of conduct.
The stylish right-handed batsman pleaded guilty to the charge and accepted the proposed sanction, hence there was no need for a formal hearing, the ICC said in a statement yesterday.
Sammy earlier smashed two sixes and five fours in his 17-ball knock, while Russell hit two sixes and four boundaries in his 18-ball innings.
The West Indies skipper’s sixes came in the penultimate over off seamer Mithun, before Russell hit paceman Yadav for two fours and a six in the last over.
The West Indies scored 93 runs in the last seven overs after being put in to bat, thanks to Sammy and Russell.
Samuels (58) steadied the innings with his 22nd half-century in one-day internationals after the West Indies lost openers Lendl Simmons (1) and Danza Hyatt (20).