Thu, 22 Nov 2018
23
Saint Joseph

Hetmeyer hundred propels West Indies to 322

ESPNCricInfo
21 Oct 2018, 22:42 GMT+10

3:00 AM ET

50 overs West Indies 322 for 8 (Hetmeyer 106, Kieran 51, Chahal 3-41) v India

playAgarkar: Kohli forced to pick JadejaIndia's lack of batsmen who can bowl has meant Virat Kohli had little option but to pick Ravindra Jadeja in the first ODI against West Indies

After averaging 10.5 against spin in the Test series, Shimron Hetmeyer went to show how different the ODI format is, hitting a 78-ball 106, attacking despite falling wickets, helping West Indies to set up 322. This was 22 more than what captain Jason Holder has asked of them on a regular basis, but it was still only a strictly competitive total against a strong Indian batting line-up in possible dewy conditions. Hetmeyer will be cross with himself he didn't finish the job when at one point it looked like West Indies could score 350.

Apart from Hetmeyer, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Shai Hope and Jason Holder got starts, but couldn't convert them into a big innings. Three of them got out between 22 and 38. A pair of 20s they will value, though, came from Kemar Roach and Devendra Bishoo, who made sure West Indies were not bowled out and took them past 320, usually considered the bare minimum in day-night ODIs on a flat Indian pitch.

In isolation, Hetmeyer's hitting was sensational. He hit six sixes and six fours, and did so when conventional thinking would have called for consolidation and rebuilding. When Hetmeyer started, Kieran had just brought a tame end to his similarly sensational but half as short innings with a hit straight to long-on, where Shikhar Dhawan was at the boundary. When Marlon Samuels was out for a second-ball duck, West Indies were 86 for 3 in the 16th over.

This is usually the time when India turn the screws, especially given their middle-overs wicket-taking form, the best since Champions Trophy bar Afghanistan, who get to play lesser opposition. However, they were without the injured Kedar Jadhav and the dropped Kuldeep Yadav in this match. Kuldeep was also the man who had dismissed Hetmeyer in three of his four innings in the Test series.

With nobody taking the ball away from him, Hetmeyer set himself for big hits frequently. It was almost like taking a single was the last option in his mind. He was ferocious on the pull, and upset the spinners with his powerful sweeps. Seventy-five of his runs came through 34 scoring shots into the leg side. The wickets kept falling, though. Mohammed Shami came back to get rid of Hope with a bouncer to continue his underwhelming tour. Rovman, "Baby Dre" for his all-round and power-hitting abilities, showed some of his wares before swinging across the line against Ravindra Jadeja and losing his leg stump.

West Indies had now lost their fifth wicket in the 31st over, but they had managed a run rate of over six. Hetmeyer was 66 off 53 at this time. This was another moment of reckoning. Would they slow down now or keep going and run getting bowled out early? Hetmeyer wanted to do only one thing. Holder took the back seat. India kept changing the bowlers, Hetmeyer kept sending them to the boundary. The hundred - his third in only 13 ODIs - came up with a stylish off-driven six off Shami in the 38th over.

At 246 for 5, West Indies would have hoped for another 100 at least in the reaming overs. And then Hetmeyer mistimed a sweep off Jadeja. Yuzvendra Chahal came back to trap Ashley Nurse immediately. It was left to Holder now to shepherd the tail. He began the job well, hitting five fours in his 38, but fell to an attempted paddle sweep in the 44th over.

And now came to fore the ease of the pitch, lack of white-ball penetration in Shami and Umesh, and the application from Roach and Bishoo. They made sure they batted through the innings, and along the way dispatched the loose balls to add 44 off 40 for the ninth wicket.

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