Shikhar Dhawan India Kieron Pollard West Indies
West Indies stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard got the better of shikhar Dhawan and India in the second match of the tri-seriesReuters

India have brought their bowling skills to the fore in some style in the last few months. On Sunday, against the West Indies, the Indian bowlers yet again produced a brilliant performance, but with the batsmen - for once - not clicking, fell just short of pulling off an improbable win.

The West Indies nearly did India a favour, pressing the panic button into overdrive, when they were cruising along in second gear with barely a pothole to bother them, before edging out India by one wicket in the second match of the Tri-series at Sabina Park.

Asked to bat first by stand-in captain Kieron Pollard, who was deputising for the injured Dwayne Bravo, India were not at their imperious best with the bat as they were so often in the ICC Champions Trophy, which they so dramatically went on to win.

On a pitch which was not really conducive for stroke-making, the stroke-makers of India struggled and limped to 229 for seven from their 50 overs, with Rohit Sharma top-scoring with 60.

In reply, West Indies found themselves in early trouble at 26 for three - an impressive Umesh Yadav picking up two of those three wickets -- before Johnson Charles, who played a brilliant 97 (100b, 8x4, 4x6), and Darren Bravo (55, 78b, 5x4, 1x6) steadied the ship and looked to have taken West Indies close to home.

However, India, who were captained on the field by Virat Kohli following an injury to MS Dhoni, refused to lie down and play dead, fighting their way back, taking six wickets for 78 runs and setting a considerably large cat amongst the pigeons in the West Indies camp.

From an easy and breezy 142 for three in 27.4 overs, West Indies went to 220 for nine in 43.2 overs, with R Ashwin's wicket of Darren Bravo triggering a collapse which raised hopes of another sensational Indian victory - Ashwin and Ishant Sharma would pickup two wickets each during that spell, even if the latter went for a few runs.

However, the last-wicket pair of Kemar Roach and Tino Best stuck together and eked out the necessary remaining ten runs to finish on 230 for nine in 47.4 overs.

Earlier, India struggled from the word go, even if Shikhar Dhawan looked capable of posting another formidable innings in the early overs.

However, once Dhawan got out - caught and bowled off Kemar Roach - India's momentum went with him.

Virat Kohli as well failed to put up a score of note, with Chris Gayle picking up a splendid catch in the slips off Darren Sammy.

Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma went about repairing the innings, but both batsmen, Karthik in particular, got stuck and failed to push the scoring along as the West Indies medium pacers and spinners started to take control.

Karthik's miserable 56-ball 23-run stay came to an end, when he floated a tame return catch to Marlon Samuels, who finished with miserly figures of 9-1-20-1.

Rohit (60, 89b, 4x4, 1x6) looked to up the ante once he got to his half-century in the 29th over, but typically threw his wicket away attempting a rash shot over long-off, with Sammy (two for 41) picking up his second wicket.

Suresh Raina (44, 55b, 4x4) looked decent at the crease, but along with MS Dhoni (27 in 35) struggled to find that top gear as India continued to struggle to pick up any kind of momentum.

Roach (two for 41) picked up Raina in the 43rd over, before Best (two for 52), in for the injured Ravi Rampaul, struck the timber of both Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja as India managed just 69 runs in the final ten overs, and that too thanks to a couple of big hits from Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the final over off the innings off Narine.

Even with West Indies' penchant of making things hard for themselves, a target of 230 in 50 overs was never going to be enough, and despite a valiant effort from the bowlers, India will now be desperate for a win against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

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