Virat Kohli missed out on a hundred by just one run before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's fiery knock propelled India to a challenging 288 for seven against the West Indies in the second One-Day International here on Sunday.
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.
Kohli had to step in early after fall of Rohit Sharma in the fifth over and he batted sensibly, not going for the cross batted shots, even as the other Indians fell trying to speed up the run-rate.
The incessant rains due to 'Cyclone Helen' had forced the ground to remain under cover for two days and the wicket demanded the batsmen to show patience and play their shots in the V with straight bats.
Kohli showed how to do it with ease and finesse. He took the path of the singles and doubles with the occasional boundaries. He ran for 53 ones and five twos with only nine fours to inch one run shy of a third hundred here.
It was then perhaps that the elegant Indian batsman lost his patience briefly as paceman Ravi Rampaul denied him a well-deserved century.
Rampaul sent down a bouncer, Kohli swirled his bat and Jason Holder took a low diving catch in deep fine leg.
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.
R Sharma c Sammy b Rampaul 12
S Dhawan lbw b Permaul 35
V Kohli c Holder b Rampaul 99
Y Singh c Samuels b Sammy 28
S Raina c Bravo b Rampaul 23
MS Dhoni not out 51
R Jadeja b Rampaul 10
R Ashwin c Charles b Holder 19
B Kumar (N.O.) 1
Extras: (LB-1, WD-9) 10
Total: (For 7 wickets in 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, D 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