Visakhapatnam: A sparkling century by Virat Kohli (117) and 90 not out by Rohit Sharma scripted India's five-wicket win in the second ODI against the West Indies at Visakhapatnam on Friday that gave the hosts a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
The knock of the two young Indian batsmen came after an unbelievable counterattack by West Indies No. 10 Ravi Rampaul (86 not out) and No. 11 Kemar Roach (24).
The two batsmen shaped up a staggering recovery to not only bat out the 50 overs but also add 99 runs to help West Indies post a more than challenging total of 269 for 9.
In reply, India got off to the worst possible start as Parthiv Patel poked at a good length delivery on his off-stump, only to edge it to Sammy at the second slip.
After some edgy, unconvincing boundaries and a hit on Sehwag's helmet, India lost Gambhir. But it was the one-handed blinder in the covers by Barath that deserved most of the applause as the ball was there to be hit.
It had been a strange start to the Indian innings. Two wickets, edgy shots, hit on the helmet and some chancy boundaries.
Slight drizzle then stopped the match for half an hour when India were 49 for 2 in the 12th over. However, no overs were lost.
India were dealt a big blow soon after the resumption of play when Sehwag couldn't resist the invitation from Samuels and holed out at long-off on the very first ball he faced from the offspinner.
But Kohli's fifty confirmed India's recovery after losing Sehwag. With Rohit Sharma, Kohli made sure that India didn't let the asking rate go out of control. Boundaries came with regularity along with the ones and twos to keep the scoreboard moving.
Rohit followed suit with his half-century! He completed it with a four off the last ball of the 35th over to take India to 172 for three, now needing 98 in 90 legal deliveries with seven wickets still standing. The situation was more in India's favour as the powerplay came next from over No. 36 to 40.
Thirty-eight runs for no loss in the five overs of batting powerplay (36-40) put India firmly in the driver's seat now at 210 for 3, needing 60 off 60. But one of these two, Rohit and Kohli, had to stay there for the next 5-6 overs to end all West Indian hopes.
However, soon after completing his 8th ODI century, Kohli fell, which was followed by another stutter in the form of Suresh Raina, who met another failure on a short ball from Roach.
But With Rohit on the crease, India had it covered as they went the distance in the 49th over.
Earlier, the probing start by Indian pacers didn't take long to bring the results. Adrian Barath's tentative poke on Umesh Yadav's away-swinger was enough to induce an edge and send the right-hander back for a naught.
Yadav struck again when he removed Samuels, but it was Raina's superlative catch at the third slip that made the dismissal possible. The swing squared up Samuels and the leading edge was grabbed by Raina leaping to his right.
Sehwag brought Vinay Kumar on for his second spell as the Karnataka medium-pacer took back-to-back wickets of Windies' mainstay Darren Bravo and Danza Hyatt.
The visitors were getting back on track with Simmons and Bravo's aggression as they raised the fifty in the 12th over. But Bravo played one shot too many perhaps, and in an attempt to clear mid-on, the southpaw perished to give Vinay Kumar his first wicket. One ball later, Vinay's outswinger shaped away just enough to take the edge of Hyatt's bat on its way to Parthiv Patel's gloves.
Denesh Ramdin, the West Indies wicketkeeper, also couldn't last long as he found the hands of Ravindra Jadeja in an attempt to cut the first ball of Yadav's second spell.
Simmons and Pollard brought up Windies' 100 with the former's half-century. But the recovery ended when Pollard took the long walk back. After hitting Ashwin for two consecutive sixes, Pollard tried to defend the next ball but the bat-pad lobbed up for Parthiv to turn it into a catch. However, Pollard didn't look happy with the decision.
Darren Sammy was trapped in front of the wickets by Jadeja as the visitors slumped to 131 for 7. The left-arm spinner also castled Andre Russell.
India got the big wicket when the well-set Simmons fell short of his ground while trying to steal a second against a sprightly Jadeja at fine leg.
But then it was all a Rampaul-and-Roach show. The former played carefree cricket while the latter ensured that his team-mate got most of the strike.
Rampaul used the long handle to good effect, with Ashwin being the chief the sufferer. Six sixes were hit against the offspin of Ashwin, who finished with figures of 1 for 74.