Before India maintained composure to defeat the West Indies by three runs in the series opener, Shikhar Dhawan scored a well-crafted 97, and Shubmam Gill scored a magnificent 64 in his return ODI.
Dhawan and Gill, India’s opening pair, put up a 119-run partnership before the West Indies rallied to limit India to 308 for seven.
At Queens Park Oval, Mohammed Siraj halted a raging Romario Shepherd when the West Indies needed 15 off the last over to set a record (38 not out of 25).
With a 117-run partnership for the second wicket at the top of the order, Kyle Mayers (75 off 68) and Shamarh Brooks (46 off 61) gave West Indies hope until Brandon King (54 off 66) put the game out of reach. The West Indies finished with a score of 305 for six, falling short in the end.
Early in the chase, Shardul Thakur struck again, taking out the set team of Mayers and Brooks to re-enter India into the contest.
In his innings, the highly regarded Mayers made several remarkable swings, including a one-legged pull shot against Siraj.
Prasidh Krishna was punished by the captain Nicholas Pooran (25 off 26) with two flat sixes over deep square leg and deep midwicket.
India was on the verge of losing when the hosts required 60 runs off the last 90 balls thanks to the 56-run partnership between King and Akeal Hosein (32 not out off 32).
However, Yuvzvendra Chahal made a crucial discovery at the right moment to make things more difficult for the West Indies.
Shephered and Hosein’s brave pairing failed, but they kept the home team in contention.
Before Dhawan changed speeds, Gill, playing his first ODI since December 2020, produced some exquisite shots.
With a fluid 54 off 57 balls, Shreyas Iyer, who has struggled lately with the short ball, returned to the running.
Before the former was run out against the flow of play in the 18th over, the opening pair of Gill and Dhawan set up a 350+ total.
When playing at his best, Gill, one of the most entertaining batters to watch, was quite at ease against the fast bowlers.
Before Alzarri Joseph wowed the audience with a superbly timed punch off the back foot for a boundary, Gill hooked him for a six. He was as beautiful when playing the cover drives when the ball was pitched high.
Six fours and a few sixes were included in his inning. Nicholas Pooran, the captain of the West Indies, had to strike him directly to knock him out. In his fourth game, Gill scored his first ODI fifty.
With Gill bowling effectively at the other end, Dhawan, who only played one format and had a slow start in England, managed to pace his knock nicely.
The southpaw recorded ten fours and three sixes. The slog sweep off left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie was his go-to stroke.
Akeal Hosein, the other left-arm spinner, made an impression by inducing a quick turn in the ball.
India was on track to reach 350 or more runs, but the middle order collapsed when Dhawan was dismissed for the sixth time in the 1990s, dropping the visitors from 213 for one to 252 for five.
Sanju Samson (12) blew a golden chance to contribute, while a careless shot defeated Suryakumar Yadav (13).
With a 42-run partnership for the sixth wicket, Deepak Hooda (27) and Axar Patel (21), India passed the 300-run mark.