MUMBAI: India captain Virat Kohli struck his third consecutive hundred but it was not enough as West Indies defeated the hosts by 43 runs in the third one-day international on Saturday to square the five-match series at 1-1.
Milestone man Kohli, who became the fastest batsman to reach 10,000 ODI runs during Wednesday’s tied match at Visakhapatnam, compiled 107 to bring up his 38th century in the format but his dismissal ended India’s hopes of chasing down 284 for victory.
Part-time off-spinner Marlon Samuels emerged as wrecker-in-chief for the Caribbean side, picking up his best ODI bowling figures of three for 12 as India were all out for 240 in the 48th over.
West Indies batsman Shai Hope, who, like Kohli, also bats at number three, continued his rich vein of form, following up his unbeaten 123 in the last match with 95 to anchor the innings and help his side to 283 for nine after being asked to bat first.
With Kohli in irrepressible form, India appeared to be comfortably placed at 172 for three after 31 overs but lost their way with the quick wickets of Rishabh Pant, who made 24 off 18 balls, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Kohli still looked like a man on a mission — evident from his muted celebration after reaching his hundred — but once he got castled in Samuels’ first over, the fate of the match was sealed.
The right-handed batsman, who will turn 30 next month, hit 10 fours and one six in his 119-ball knock.
Earlier, Jasprit Bumrah – one of the three fast bowlers the hosts drafted in for the match – was the pick of the Indian attack with four for 35, and his early strikes threw the West Indies’ innings into disarray.
Opener Chandrapaul Hemraj fell to a sensational catch by India’s 37-year-old wickekeeper Dhoni, who ran towards the fine-leg boundary and completed a full-length diving catch after the batsman had miscued a pull shot off Bumrah.
Rohit Sharma then took a sharp catch at first slip to send back the other opener, Kieran Powell, and once fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed dismissed Samuels cheaply, West Indies were reduced to 55 for three.
Hope, who hit six fours and three sixes in his 113-ball knock, and the swashbuckling Shimron Hetmyer (37) then added a quickfire 56 before Dhoni completed a smart stumping to dismiss the latter off-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Hetmyer hit two fours and three sixes in his 21-ball knock after scores of 106 and 94 in the two previous ODIs.
Bumrah produced a superb inswinging yorker to dismiss Hope, reducing West Indies to 227-8 and boosting India’s hopes of restricting their opponents to a modest total.
But the West Indies were boosted by tailenders Ashley Nurse and Kemar Roach, who added another 56 runs off 36 balls to take their side past 280.
Nurse hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 22-ball 40 before becoming Bumrah’s fourth victim.
The penultimate ODI will be played in Mumbai on Monday.