Opening batsman Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard provided West Indies a decent platform with half-centuries in the fourth one-day international against India at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Monday.
Although India sealed the series 3-0 on Saturday, there was much to play for the home team, desperate to win a game against the world champions who have not missed any of their absent stalwarts.
Simmons was run out for a solid 67, his eighth ODI fifty, and all-rounder Kieron Pollard lashed 70 to answer some of the questions about his suitability for any form of the game other than T20. Pollard's 96-run sixth-wicket partnership with Carlton Baugh (39) laid the platform for Andre Russell (14-ball 25) to produce a late blast for the second game in a row before a sparse crowd that had turned up on an Antiguan national holiday.
West Indies were still pegged down to 249 for eight after Baugh and Russell hit Praveen Kumar to be caught by Virat Kohli in the deep off successive deliveries. Their pace spearhead, Kemar Roach, was hit on the face by an Ishant Sharma bouncer, although the bowler proved expensive (1/60)
Middle-order batsman Manoj Tiwary showed an appetite to impress early, taking three catches and producing a direct hit from square-leg to run out Simmons at the non-striker's end. Tiwary replaced Shikhar Dhawan while Ishant Sharma and R Ashwin came in place of Harbhajan Singh and Munaf Patel.
West Indies dropped misfiring opener Kirk Edwards and pushed Danza Hyatt to partner Simmons. Hyatt made 1, as he had on his ODI debut on Saturday, before fending an Ishant Sharma delivery to Tiwary at point.
Although Simmons was settling down, it was a familiar story at the other end as the experienced Ramnaresh Sarwan (1), Darren Bravo (15) and Marlon Samuels (8) all went cheaply, leaving the hosts once again in a precarious position at 89 for 4 in the 24th over.
Left-hander Bravo, kept out in the last two games, again fell to spin as he flicked leggie Amit Mishra to be caught at deep midwicket. The struggle for Samuels continued as he was beaten by a Mishra googly, the bowler striking to counter the batsmen's ploy to attack and unsettle him.
Simmons hit three fours and three sixes when he fell to the brilliance of Tiwary, after the batsman had pushed Ashwin to the leg side. Pollard took charge just when the innings threatened to subside, leaving the stage for Russell to come and play in an uninhibited way. But India have always found a way back just when West Indies have threatened and their bowlers regained control in the last few overs to give themselves another achievable target.