x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Virat Kohli made to work hard

The India middle-order batsman scores a fine century to lead his team to a five-wicket victory over West Indies in Visakhapatnam on Friday night.

India's Virat Kohli, right, and Rohit Sharma put on a match-winning 163-run partnership against West Indies at Visakhapatnam on Friday night.
India's Virat Kohli, right, and Rohit Sharma put on a match-winning 163-run partnership against West Indies at Visakhapatnam on Friday night.

Virat Kohli paid tribute to his happy hunting ground after scoring a match-winning century in the second one-day international (ODI) against West Indies at Visakhapatnam on Friday night.

India chased down the 270-run target set by the tourists in 48.1 overs to take a 2-0 series lead with three matches still to go.

Kohli, whose 117 under pressure helped hosts India to a five-wicket victory, said he was at ease whenever he got the opportunity to play at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.

The middle-order batsman had also compiled 118 runs in a one-day international against Australia in October last year - a knock that had cemented the now 23 year old's place in the ODI side.

"People love cricket here and they come out in thousands," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"Two centuries in two games at this venue, but the pitches were different," Kohli added. "This one needed more hard work."

Kohli also praised Rohit Sharma, his teammate, with whom he shared a 163-run partnership that formed the bedrock of India's tricky chase. Rohit stayed unbeaten on 90, a score so crucial in light of the fact that his team were struggling at 84 for three, with Virender Sehwag, the captain, dismissed for 26. Rohit - who scored a match-winning 72 against the same opposition in the first one-dayer at Cuttack - played a fluent innings until the end, and Kohli said: "It is always a pleasure to watch him bat."

Indeed, India were reduced to 29 for two before rain stopped play for almost 40 minutes.

Kemar Roach, the West Indies fast bowler, struck with his second delivery when he accounted for opener Parthiv Patel, who was caught by the captain, Darren Sammy, at second slip.

Gautam Gambhir fell to a superb one-handed catch by Adrian Barath in the covers off Ravi Rampaul, the seam bowler.

Sehwag was dropped twice during his 35-ball knock before being caught by Andre Russell at long-off off part-time spinner Marlon Samuels, but Kohli and Rohit ensured the victory with a big stand.

India's chase could have been an altogether different story had it not been for some rear-guard batting action from Rampaul, a left-handed No 10 batsman, who stroked an unbeaten 66-ball 86 studded with six sixes and as many boundaries.

Prior to that, West Indies were in deep trouble at 63 for five after being put in to bat in overcast conditions, but Rampaul and opener Lendl Simmons (78) helped their team set a stiff target.

The previous highest score by a No 10 batsman in one-dayers was an unbeaten 73 by Pakistan's Mohammad Amir against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi in 2009.

India fast bowler Umesh Yadav grabbed three wickets for 38 runs and Vinay Kumar, his new-ball partner, two for 43 runs to do the early damage.

The third one-day international will be played in Ahmedabad on Monday.