Port of Spain: Axar Patel smashed a whirlwind unbeaten 35-ball 64, his maiden ODI fifty, as India scripted a sensational series-clinching two-wicket win over the West Indies in the second game here.
Set a stiff target of 312, the visitors were down to 205 for five in 38.4 overs but Patel revived India’s chase with his six-hitting prowess to take the visitors home with two balls to spare on Sunday.
Needing six off last three balls, Patel clobbered Kyle Mayers straight over the bowlers head for a six as India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Patel smashed five sixes and three fours in his unconquered innings and added 51 off 33 balls with Deepak Hooda (33) to keep India in the hunt. This was after Shreyas Iyer (63) and Sanju Samson (54) tried to take the chase deep with well-paced fifties.
Earlier, opting to bat, Shai Hope produced a masterclass 135-ball 117, while skipper Nicholas Pooran showed his big-hitting prowess with six maximums and one four during his 74 off 77 balls as West Indies posted an impressive 311 for six.
In reply, Shubman Gill (43) looked in good touch as he hit five boundaries during his 49-ball innings to give India a decent start but captain Shikhar Dhawan (13) found the going tough at the other end.
The India skipper was the first to depart with Mayers producing a stunning catch at third man off the bowling of Romario Shepherd. Mayers then pegged India back with two quick wickets, first getting rid off a well-set Gill and then removing Suryakumar Yadav (9), who once again dragged one to his stumps.
Iyer and Samson tried to take the chase deep with a 99-run partnership off 94 balls but once both departed, India still needed 105 runs from 11 overs. It was all Patel show after that as he kept fighting despite losing Hooda and Shardul Thakur.
Earlier, Hope played the role of an anchor to perfection as he added 65 runs with opener Mayers (39), before forging another 62-run stand with Shamarh Brooks (35). Hope then found his perfect ally in skipper Pooran as the two shared a 117-run stand.
Hope, who was dismissed cheaply in first ODI, hit eight fours and three maximums in his 135-ball 115-run knock. For India, spin duo of Patel (1/40) and Hooda (1/42) were economical but Yuzvendra Chahal (1/69) was expensive as he was smashed for six sixes and two fours.
Mohammed Siraj (0/47) bowled well but Avesh Khan (0/54 in 6 overs) had a forgettable ODI debut, while Thakur (3/54) made amends in the back end with three wickets. Hope looked in full flow as he played some exquisite shots on the off side before reaching the three figure mark in his 100th ODI game with a six in the 45th over.
Earlier, Mayers tore apart debutant Avesh, slamming him for successive boundaries in the fourth and sixth overs as the Indian pacer, guilty of bowling too full and short, ended up conceding 36 in his first three overs.
Thakur was not spared either as Mayers sent his first two balls for a four and a six but Siraj kept things tight in his opening spell. Hooda produced the first breakthrough with Mayers hitting his first delivery straight back to the bowler. Brooks and Hopes then looked to build a partnership with Hooda and Patel bowling in tandem as just 42 runs came from the 11th to 20th over.
Chahal was introduced late into the attack and was taken to the cleaners in the 21st over with Hope and Brooks smashing a six and a four. But Dhawan brought back Patel and he produced a wicket-maiden to get rid off Brooks with the Indian skipper taking a low catch. Chahal dealt another blow with Brandon King miscuing his slog sweep as WI slipped to 130 for three.
Pooran took his time initially and then used his feet against the spinners, especially Chahal, to produce some big shots. Hope too picked up three boundaries and also slog-swept Chahal for a six to reach his fifty.
The 200 was up in 38th overs with Pooran unleashing two maximums. The West Indies skipper exploded in the 39th over with two sixes off Chahal on both sides of the ground to bring up his fifty.
Pooran, down on one-knee, also clobbered Patel for another six before sending Avesh over the ropes for his sixth maximum but Thakur bowled him around his legs to produce a crucial breakthrough.
Hope then unleashed two sixes in two balls off Chahal en route his century, while Rovman Powell (13) and Romario Shepherd (14) played some lusty blows to take the hosts across the 300-mark. West Indies amassed 93 runs in last 10 overs.