At one point on Sunday, it seemed that West Indies would win the second ODI against India to level the series. In the last ten overs, India needed 100 runs to win. Five wickets in hand. From there, Axar Patel scored an unbeaten 64 off 35 balls to win the ODI series for India. Eight runs were required in the last over. Axar won the match and the series with a six off the fourth ball after a two in first three balls by pacer Kyle Mayers.
Axar credits their IPL experience after leading India to a series win in Port of Spain. The left-arm spinner all-rounder said, “This innings will be memorable for me. Especially where I won the match and the series for the team.” Axar scored the second fastest half-century for India in ODI cricket against the West Indies. His half century came off 27 balls. Kapil Dev owns the fastest half-century against West Indies. In 1983 he scored in twenty-two balls. Axar says, “We were confident of scoring runs, because we had the experience of playing in the IPL.”
Axar’s flurry of innings had five sixes and three fours. Agreeing with Axar, captain Shikhar Dhawan said, “Axar has won so many matches in the IPL. Now he has shown it on the international stage. Our IPL and domestic cricket make everyone.”
Yuzvendra Chahal said after the match, “Axar played one of the best innings I have ever seen. I remember watching him bat as a kid.” “I used to play like him,” he added with a laugh.
About their strategy, Axar said, “We wanted to bat with a cool head. The aim was to keep the run rate right per over.” He added, “This innings is more memorable for me because I am playing ODIs again after 2017. Besides getting my first ODI half-century, I also made the team win. What could be better than that.”
West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran said, “We lost in the last over. Axar batted very well. We couldn’t handle the pressure. If we got another wicket, we could have won the match again. But Axar batted really well.”
If Axar is the hero in this two-wicket win for India, Shreyas Iyer will be very close to him. Chasing 312 runs for victory, Shreyas scored a half century. Down to number three Shreyash’s collection is 63 off 71 balls. But even the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL is not happy. In the post-match press conference, Shreyas said, “I am happy with the run I scored. But I am not happy with the way I got out.” Shreyas was LBW by Caribbean pacer Alzarri Joseph. When he takes the help of the third umpire, it is seen that the ball is touching the wicket. Shreyas had to go back as the field umpire first gave him LBW. Shreyas said after the match, “I could have easily left the field with the team winning.”