On a difficult wicket, with plenty of moisture, India, for the third consecutive game, were put into bat by the West Indies. This time, it was a struggle out there in the middle, with the away team only just about managing to get past the 250-run mark in the 50-over game in Antigua.
However, the bowlers showed the India batsmen's efforts to get past 250 was commendable, bowling the West Indies out for a mere 158 in 38.1 overs, with the spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and R Ashwin – taking six wickets between them.
India endured a tricky opening to their batting innings, with Shikhar Dhawan (2, 6b), who has scored runs, runs and more runs of late, falling to Miguel Cummins in just the third over, while Virat Kohli (11, 22b, 2x4), after a couple of hairy moments, succumbed to a rising delivery from Jason Holder.
On a wicket that was mostly slow, with variable bounce, scoring runs at will was always going to be difficult, which is why Ajinkya Rahane's solid effort at one end was to be commended.
Rahane, despite facing 112 balls, only managed 72 runs at a strike rate of 64.28, but that effort ensured one settled batsman was always in the middle. Rahane and Yuvraj Singh's 66-run partnership was a crucial one, even if Yuvraj (39, 55b, 4x4) lived a charmed life, before eventually falling to the leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.
Then, MS Dhoni (78 n.o., 79b, 4x4, 2x6) showed why he still should be a shoo-in in this format of the game with a game-changing knock.
The former captain added 70 runs with Rahane, and after the latter fell, Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav (40 n.o., 26b, 4x4, 1x6) combined for a match-winning 81 runs in just 7.4 overs to close the innings off. Thanks to that partnership, India were able to get to 251/4 in their 50 overs.
That might look like nothing in the context of the modern game, where 300-plus scores are the norm, but on this slow, achingly-difficult-to-score-easily wicket, it was always going to be a strong total, especially for an inexperienced West Indies batting lineup.
So it proved to be.
Evan Lewis (2, 5b) fell in the second over to Umesh Yadav, failing to get his bat down in time to a skiddy delivery from Umesh Yadav, and while the Hope brothers Kyle (19, 35b, 3x4) and Shai (24, 50b, 2x4) put on a decent partnership – Kyle making his debut – the Indian bowlers just kept chipping away at the wickets.
Hardik Pandya, with some short stuff dismissed both the brothers, before the spinners took over to leave West Indies struggling on 87/5. The match was pretty much done by then, even with a solid partnership of 54 between Rovman Powell (30, 43b, 5x4) and Jason Mohammed (40, 61b, 4x4), who just delayed the inevitable.
India lead the five-match series 2-0, with two more matches to play.