VISAKHAPATNAM - Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy clinched a thrilling two-wicket win for West Indies against India in the second ODI and leveled the three-match series 1-1 on at VDCA stadium on Sunday.

After being reduced to 188/5 in chase of 289 at one stage, West Indies, riding on brilliant half centuries from Simmons and Sammy, snatched victory from the hosts. While Simmons scored 62 off 74 balls, Sammy stayed unbeaten at 63. Kieran Powell and Darren Bravo also chipped in with 59 and 50 respectively that rescued the visitors from early wickets. Both batsmen shared 100-run stand for the third wicket.

However, R Ashwin broke the dangerous looking partnership by getting Bravo caught behind in the 23rd over at the score of 123. Three overs later, Ashwin struck again to dismiss Powell after his fighting knock, reducing West Indies to 147/4.

Earlier, Mohit Sharma scalped Marlon Samules while Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent back Johnson Charles (12) to give India a good start after the hosts posted 288/7. Kumar took a stunning return catch to end Charles's challenge in the third over. Sharma then got Samuels caught behind to reduce the visitors to 23/2.

Virat Kohli missed out on a hundred by just one run before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's fiery knock propelled India to a challenging total. Electing to bowl, unsure of how the wicket would behave after two days of incessant rains, the West Indies kept India under pressure for most of the time but the hosts scored 62 runs off the last five overs to steal the thunder from the Caribbeans.

Kohli showed calmness to soothe the nerves but only to fall victim to a rash pull as India were in danger after losing two wickets for 15 runs in the batting power-play.

But once again captain cool Dhoni stood to the task with an unbeaten 51, his 50th ODI half-century, to give India a decent total to defend. Dhoni slammed three sixes and four boundaries in his 40-ball knock in an entertaining 47-run seventh wicket partnership with R Ashwin.

Earlier, Sharma had a rare off day at his mother's home town when he was taken at second slip to bring an end to a dream run, during which he scored one double ton, two 100s and an equal number of half-centuries in his last five outings. After Sharma's dismissal India crawled to 48/1 in the first powerplay. The West Indies clearly had an upperhand dismissing the other opener, Shikhar Dhawan, with an addition of another 48 runs.

Included in place of Narsingh Deonarine, Veersammy Permaul made Indians sweat under the scorching sun reducing them to 69/2 after Dhawan miscued one against the turn to be caught at slip. Having remained under cover with the ground under water, the outfield and the wicket was very much unlikely of the belter that the ACA-VCA Stadium used to offer.

The mighty Indian batting line-up had to fight for every run in the first 25 overs, in a phase where Permaul and Sunil Narine had put them the visitors an edge. Kohli had a stroke of luck when on 64 when skipper Bravo dropped him off his own follow through. Suresh Raina got an easy reprieve on 13 after being dropped by Lendl Simmons in an easy catch as the Windies fielding looked ordinary.

Scoreboard

INDIA:

R Sharma c Sammy b Rampaul    12

S Dhawan lbw b Permaul    35

V Kohli c Holder b Rampaul    99

Yuvraj Singh c Samuels b Sammy    28

S Raina c DJ Bravo b Rampaul    23

MS Dhoni not out    51

R Jadeja b Rampaul    10

R Ashwin c Charles b Holder    19

B Kumar not out    1

EXTRAS: (lb 1, w 9)    10

TOTAL: (7 wkts; 50 overs)    288

FOW: 1-21, 2-69, 3-138, 4-203, 5-209, 6-240, 7-287

BOWLING: R Rampaul 10-0-60-4, J Holder 10-0-63-1, DJ Bravo 8-0-54-0, V Permaul 10-0-55-1, S Narine-10-2-39-0, D Sammy 1-0-11-1, L Simmons 1-0-5-0

WEST INDIES:

J Charles c & b Kumar    12

K Powell st Dhoni b Ashwin    59

M Samuels c Dhoni b MM Sharma    8

DM Bravo c Dhoni b Ashwin    50

L Simmons lbw b Jadeja    62

DJ Bravo c Dhawan b Kumar    18

D Sammy not out    63

J Holder c Dhoni b Shami    7

S Narine c sub b Shami    0

V Permaul not out    0

EXTRAS: (lb 7, w 3)    10

TOTAL: (8 wkts; 49.3 overs)    289

FOW: 1-14, 2-23, 3-123, 4-147, 5-185, 6-267, 7-285, 8-285

BOWLING: B Kumar 9-1-56-2, MM Sharma 6.3-0-48-1, M Shami 7-0-55-2, R Ashwin 10-1-37-2, S Raina 7-0-42-0, R Jadeja10-1-44-1

TOSS: West Indies

UMPIRES: V Kulkarni, R Tucker

TV UMPIRE: AK Chaudhary

MATCH REFEREE: D Boon (Aus)