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Axar Patel inspires India to two-wicket win against West Indies; clinch ODI series

Chasing a mammoth 312 for victory in a 50-over game is always a difficult task, and India were in trouble on Sunday night when they needed 100 from the last 10 overs with Axar Patel and Deepak Hooda at the crease and only five wickets remaining.

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India defeated the West Indies by two wickets in the second One-day International at Queen’s Park Oval, with Axar Patel’s smashing unbeaten 64 at the end helping the visitors take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-game series here.

Chasing a mammoth 312 for victory in a 50-over game is always a difficult task, and India were in trouble on Sunday night when they needed 100 from the last 10 overs with Axar Patel and Deepak Hooda at the crease and only five wickets remaining.

However, the two combined patience and bravery to find the boundaries when it was necessary to chase down the target with only two balls remaining. With Hooda departing for 33 in the 45th over, it was up to Patel to complete the task, hitting five sixes and three boundaries in his 35-ball 64.

Shai Hope’s century and Kyle Mayers’ quick-fire 39 earlier in the innings had given the hosts a confident start after they won the toss and chose to bat first. Mayers was the more aggressive of the two starters, finding gaps in the field to easily fetch boundaries. When India brought in Hooda, the part-time off-spinner, to bowl at Mayers, he raced to 39 off 22 balls.

When Hooda entered the attack, West Indies had already crossed the 65-run mark in nine overs, with Mayers on 39. Mayers’ first ball was returned with an off break that the left-hander could only chip back to the bowler.

With Avesh Khan, making his ODI debut, going for 36 runs in his first three overs, India’s pace battery looked ineffective early on. In a forgettable ODI debut, he conceded 64 runs in nine overs and went wicketless.

According to the ICC, Hope smashed a century in his 100th ODI to join a select group of players in Port of Spain. The West Indian opener scored his 13th century in the format with a massive six off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 45th over of the innings, and he celebrated with another big hit for six off the next ball.

Chahal went for runs on a day when India’s other spinners, Hooda and Axar, kept the scoring rate under control. Hope was slow to begin, but he reached fifty off 69 balls in the 21st over with a six. India, on the other hand, struck quickly after that, taking the wickets of Shamarh Brooks and Brandon King in back-to-back overs from

Hope, however, found a partner in Nicholas Pooran and the duo put on a brilliant 117 partnership with Pooran taking the initiative on to take the attack to the Indian bowlers. Hope continued to build on his solid start and completed his landmark hundred late in the innings. Pooran would go on make a half-century, but before the expected big acceleration in the death overs, Shardul Thakur bowled him around his legs.

(Inputs from IANS)