Thiruvananthapuram: West Indies need 171 from 20 overs to save the T20I series against India at the Greenfield International Stadium here on Sunday.
Shivam Dube was promoted to number three and he repaid the faith shown in him by hitting a maiden international fifty. Dube smashed three fours and four sixes on his way to 54 off 30 balls.
Dube had previously played for India in their series against Bangladesh in November but he hardly got to bat in that series due to being slotted in the lower middle order.
On Sunday, he replaced opener KL Rahul in the fourth over as India were put to bat first by the West Indies at Thiruvananthapuram's Greenfield International stadium. He got a top edge off Jason Holder in the next over but fortunately for him, it only went over the third man boundary for a four.
He then hit a six and a four off Holder in the eighth over. Two balls later however, Holder dismissed Rohit Sharma to swing the momentum back to the West Indies.
Dube then went after Kieron Pollard in what was a disastrous ninth over from the West Indies captain. Pollard bowled three wides and was hit for three sixes by Dube, two of them back to back as the 26-year-old raced to 47 off 24 balls.
His captain Virat Kohli, who replaced Rohit, decided to play second fiddle as Dube ran a single to raise his maiden international fifty off the last ball of the 10th over.
But he fell while going for one shot too many. Hayden Walsh jr. was introduced in the 11th over and Dube survived when Pollard misjudged a sitter off the first delivery and the ball rolled to the boundary for a four. He then vainly attempted a pull as the ball crept safely under his bat. Dube swung at it again in the next ball and this time, it flew straight down the throat of Shimron Hetmyer at cover.
(With inputs from IANS)