Chennai – Centuries from Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope powered West Indies to an eight-wicket win over India after chasing down a target of 288 in the first one-day international (ODI) on Sunday.
Hetmyer, who hit a career-best 139, and Hope, unbeaten on 102, put on a key 218-run second-wicket partnership as West Indies eased to victory with 13 balls to spare and lead the three-match series 1-0.
The left-handed Hetmyer completed his fifth ODI ton in 85 balls to take control with Hope, a right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman, after the early fall of Sunil Ambris for nine.
Hetmyer, who hit his second hundred against India and survived a dropped chance on 106, smashed 11 fours and seven sixes in his 106-ball knock to pulverise the Indian bowlers.
“We know the talent that he (Hetmyer) has,” said skipper Kieron Pollard.
“He has been struggling a bit in the last nine months and he has been under a lot of pressure. As a management group, we have faith in him.”
Mohammed Shami finally broke through to get Hetmyer back in the pavilion but Hope stood firm to complete his eighth ODI hundred.
He got company from Nicholas Pooran who hit the winning boundary to stay unbeaten 29.
Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant made half-centuries to guide India to 287 for eight after they lost early wickets following West Indies’ decision to bowl first.
Iyer, who made 70, and Pant, who hit 71, put on 114 for the fourth wicket after India were left struggling at 80 for three.
Pace spearhead Sheldon Cottrell struck twice in one over, including nabbing skipper Virat Kohli for four with a slower delivery that the star batsman inside edged on to his stumps.
Iyer completed his third successive ODI fifty while Pant – a wicketkeeper-batsman who is often criticised for throwing away his wicket – raised his first during a 69-ball knock laced with seven fours and one six.
Kohli was all praise for the batting duo.
“I think myself and Rohit not clicking today gave an opportunity for two youngsters to claim a spot,” said Kohli. “They played very smartly on a slow pitch.”
Kedar Jadhav played a useful cameo of 40 during his 59-run sixth-wicket stand with Ravindra Jadeja, who made 21, to boost India’s scoring in the final few overs.
Keemo Paul broke through with the wicket of Jadhav, and there was drama on the very next ball with Jadeja run out after a delayed umpire call.
Roston Chase hit the stumps at the bowler’s end where Jadeja was running and South African umpire Shaun George did not call for the third umpire.
But replays suggested Jadeja was short of his crease, prompting the on-field official to refer it to the TV umpire who then gave it out, as an angry Kohli shook his head in disapproval in the dressing room.
“The thought it’s simple, the fielder asked ‘how is that’ and the umpire said ‘not out’. The dismissal ends there,” Kohli said.
“The people sitting on the TV outside cannot tell the fielders to then tell the umpire to review it again. I’ve never seen that happen in cricket.
“I don’t know where the rules are, where the line is drawn. I think the referee and the umpires have to take that up, see that incident again. And figure out what needs to be done in cricket.”