Versatile Axar Patel goes crazy as India seal series against West Indies
With this win, India won the three-game series with one game to spare.
Yet another match and yet another thriller between the West Indies and India, but there was only to be one winner. After a fierce fight from both teams throughout the contest, the second ODI also ended in a biting thriller. India were one step ahead of the hosts as the Men in Blue won the contest by two wickets and took an unassailable 2-0 series lead at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
While it was a team performance of India in their pursuit of 312, it was Axar Patel who emerged victorious. He went crazy when he came out at bat and crushed his first ODI half-century with just 27 balls. His unbeaten 64-for-35 shot helped India clinch the ODI series and record their most successful ODI run pursuit in the West Indies.
Along with Patel, Shreyas Iyer (63 of 71) and Sanju Samson (54 of 51) also contributed significantly to India’s victory, although they were sidelined at critical moments that allowed West Indies to resume game control. The 28-year-old, however, just stole the show and helped India win another ODI series on Caribbean soil.
India got off to a good start in the hunt thanks to a 48-point partnership between Shubman Gill and captain Shikhar Dhawan. Play was temporarily halted by rain and shortly after the restart Dhawan perished for a 31-ball 13. Gill, however, (43 of 49) appeared fluid throughout his time in the middle yet again .
In an attempt to beat Kyle Mayers, he tried to play the ramp shot, but the ball hit the end of the bat and bounced off Mayers, who took a simple grab and sent Gill back on foot. Suryakumar Yadav also didn’t shoot this time. When things weren’t going well for India’s pursuit, Iyer and Samson had an important 99-point stand which helped the team get back on track.
Notably, Deepak Hooda also scored a practice 33 and shared a 51-point partnership with Axar. However, the fall of some quick wickets kept the West Indies interested. Unfortunately for the hosts, Axar became the spoiler of the party as India crossed the line with a few deliveries to spare.
Shai Hope’s shining century in vain
Earlier in the match, West Indies fly-half Shai Hope smashed a magnificent ton to keep his team in a dominant position. Hope showed class with a brilliant century and West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran (74 of 77) went on a six-hit rampage as they put up a solid batting performance. Hope focused on developing partnerships and exploded near the end of his 135-ball 115 run knock.
He broke three sixes and eight fours during his time with the bat. Top hitters Mayers (39 of 23) and Shamarh Brooks (35 of 36) also put up a good game as India continued to seek wickets. Hope and Pooran’s partnership was ended by Shardul Thakur scalping the latter, and the all-rounders couldn’t contribute much towards the end, following which the West Indies batters finished at 311/6.
In the meantime, here’s how Twitter reacted to India’s triumph:
Axar Patel’s shot was one of the best shots you’d see in a chase. Clarity of thought. The confidence with which he handled the pursuit… “incredible” is not enough to define it. Awesome, Bapu 😊😊
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) July 24, 2022
The man who must hurt the players and the fans. Still some work to do on death bowling and batting tempo. But small improvements are happening. Good locations. Congratulations to India for a series win and Axar Patel for a brilliant shot✊🏽.
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) July 24, 2022
There is a guy who would like the ODIs to continue.
Best player. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 https://t.co/vzdoW8pwoq
— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) July 24, 2022
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) July 24, 2022
So, all is well from Bapu. He took a single. Avesh, hieo the message was clear. Go Jai Mata Di but be sure.
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) July 24, 2022
In close matches, Siraj and Axar have won victories; Samson and Hooda played good hands in unknown roles; Shreyas makes himself hard to exclude; Gill made a deal. And Shikhar owns this format.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 25, 2022
— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) July 24, 2022
Axar Patel! The hero of this story!
That goal seemed out of control for a while, but that’s what this generation is about, the rise to opportunity! I love it ❤️
That’s all @FanCode in the next ODI!
Until then, it’s me Ridhima Pathak who signs #IndvsWI
— Ridhima Pathak (@PathakRidhima) July 24, 2022
— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) July 25, 2022
Two close matches, two wins show India’s wealth of talent and ambition. Dhawan, Hooda, Iyer, Gill, Samson, Axar, Chahal all come well when needed
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) July 25, 2022