Images: West Indies beat India despite Rohit's 95
Rohit Sharma's sparkling 95 was in vain as the West Indies beat India by 16 runs in the third One-day international to stay afloat in the five-match series, at Ahmedabad's Sardar Patel stadium, on Monday.
Having dropped Sharma on 33, West Indies skipper Darren Sammy redeemed himself with a direct throw in the 44th over, as India, chasing 261 for a third successive win that would have sealed the series, folded for 244 in 46.5 overs.
Sharma's 100-ball knock, which included 10 hits to the fence and a six, was his third successive half-century in the series which his team lead 2-1.
Ravi Rampaul (4-57) derailed India's chase almost as soon as it began by removing the scoreless duo of captain Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir with his first two deliveries.
Image: Ravi Rampaul celebrates after picking up the wicket of Abhimanyu Mithun
Windies off to a slow start
Trailing 0-2 in the series, the West Indies were off to a slow start. However, they lost Lendl Simmons early as he edged one to Partiv Patel behind the stumps.
Hyatt and Marlon Samuels then got their act together to put up a much-needed partnership. But just when things were looking fine, Hyatt edged one to Parthiv off Abhimanyu Mithun.
Samuels, then, with Bravo took the West Indies innings through as the duo looked good to post more than a 250-plus score.
Bravo off-drove Mithun for a handsome four before Samuels turned his attention on Umesh Yadav, in his second spell, and struck the Vidarbha pacer for two fours and a six, a disdainful front-footed loft over the straight field.
Image: Marlon Samules plays a shot during his knock against India
Ashwin castles Samuels
Samuels soon reached his half-century with a single, which also brought up West Indies' hundred.
The visitors, who had taken the batting Powerplay, in order to up the tempo lost well-set Samuels to the first over as he was castled by Ashwin.
The batsman, having scored his 22nd half century, tried to drive the bowler coming round the wicket, missed connecting and was bowled off-stump. Samuels's 58 contained five hits to the fence and one huge six.
With the spinners keeping it tight, only 19 runs came off it and at the end of the 38th over West Indies were in a none-too-happy 140 for 3.
Image: Marlon Samuels is clean bowled by R Ashwin
Samuels, Russell punish Indian bowlers
India's bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals until the duo of Darren Sammy and Andre Russel joined forces to punish Indian bowlers in the death overs.
Mithun looked rusty in his first match of the series as he gave away 22 runs in the 48th over of the match, which turned the momentum in West Indies' favour as they reached 260-5.
Russell scored an unbeaten 40 off only 18 balls, inclusive of four fours and two sixes, while Sammy, smashed an unbeaten 41 off 17 deliveries, with with five fours and two sixes. The Indian bowlers were taken to cleaners in the final five overs, which yielded a whopping 73 runs.
India's most impressive bowlers were medium pacer R Vinay Kumar, who grabbed 2 for 39, and Ashwin picked up the lone wicket of Samuels.
Image: Andre Russel plays a shot during his knock against India
India off to a poor start
Chasing a stiff ask, India got off to a horrific loss, as they lost skipper Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir off successive balls to peg India back.
Ravi Rampaul, first had Sehwag playing a false stroke and was safely pouched by Denesh Ramdin behind the stumps for nought, then next up, he had Gambhir walking back after he was adjudged leg-before-wicket off the first ball that he faced.
Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli too soon followed as the team looked in deep trouble at 105-6.
Image: Ravi Rampaul celebrates after picking up the wicket of Gautam Gambhir
Rohit, Ashwin steady India
However man in form, Rohit Sharma was again to India's rescue, stitching up an important partnership with Ashwin, which brought India back in the match.
The duo added 91 runs before Sunil Naraine trapped Ashwin right in front of the stumps.
Rohit, who had scored 72 and 90 not out in the first two games, notched up his third successive half century, and 11th of his career, before being run out at the non-striker's end by Sammy's accurate throw from mid-on, which turned the game in visitors' favour.
Image: Rohit Sharma hits a six during his knock against West Indies
Mithun entertains the crowd
Mithun though did keep Indian flag alive, hitting couple of lusty blows of both seamers as well as spinners.
With Umesh Yadav still at the crease, Indians hoped that they can repeat the first ODI's performance where they won by one wicket.
However, it was asking too much from the tailender as he finally succumbed to a perfect Yorker from Ramdin much to the joy of Sammy.
Image: Ravi Rampaul celebrates after winning the match against India