1st T20I: India win by 6-wicket against West Indies

Kolkata: Solid bowling performance on his debut by leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2/17) followed by a quickfire knock by Rohit Sharma and a superb finishing effort from Suryakumar Yadav helped India thrash West Indies by six wickets in the first T20I and take 1-0 lead in three-match series on Wednesday.

Riding on Bishnoi and Harshal Patel’s (2/37) superb bowling, India restricted West Indies to 157/7 in 20 overs despite an attacking fifty by Nicholas Pooran (61 off 43) at the Eden Gardens, here.

Chasing a competitive total, skipper Rohit Sharma gave India a flying start. He hit 22 runs off Odean Smith in the 4th over to get things going for India while his partner Ishan Kishan was slow off the blocks.

It was Roston Chase, who gave the West Indies the first wicket by getting rid of Rohit (40 off 19), who hit four fours and three sixes in his innings. Ishan Kishan, who struggled to get going, scored just 35 runs in 42 balls becoming Chase’s second victim of the night. Virat Kohli’s poor form then continued as he fell for 17 off 13 balls to Fabian Allen.

West Indies spinners bowled some disciplined overs in the middle overs and it seemed that the visitors were on their way to pulling off an extraordinary defence when vice-captain Rishabh Pant fell for eight runs off as many balls.

However, the in-form Suryakumar Yadav (34 off 18) then took control of the chase. His crucial 48 runs partnership with Venkatesh Iyer (24 off 13) helped India chase down the target in 18.5 overs.

Earlier in the day, West Indies were off to a poor start as Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Brandon King to give India an early breakthrough. After getting hit over covers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar pulled his length back and that resulted in the breakthrough as Suryakumar Yadav took a good catch.

However, the wicket didn’t affect West Indies batters — Kyle Mayers and Nicholas Pooran — and they did some incredible hitting to shift the momentum in the visitors’ favour. Mayers, in particular, was very aggressive and used his brute power to great effect, taking West Indies to 44/1 after six overs.

After the end of the powerplay, skipper Rohit Sharma brought Yuzvendra Chahal into the attack and he immediately produced an opportunity for India to pick a wicket but there was an error in judgment from the debutant Ravi Bishnoi at the boundary line.

Nevertheless, Chahal dismissed Mayers in the same over, trapping the batter in front of the wicket and it was given out by the umpire. Mayer consulted Pooran and asked for a review and the replay showed that it’s umpire’s call which meant that Mayers had to walk back after scoring 31 off 24 balls.

Thereafter, the duo of Nicholas Pooran and Roston Chase took calculative risks and managed to hit a few boundaries, as they took West Indies to 71/2 after 10 overs. The scoreline soon became 74/4 after 11 overs as debutant Ravi Bishnoi bagged two wickets in the same over- dismissing Chase (4) and Rovman Powell (2).

An already-struggling Chase was outfoxed by a scintillating googly as Bishnoi picked his maiden T20I wicket while Powell decided to take on the spinner but holed out to Venkatesh Iyer at long-on. A couple of overs later, Deepak Chahar came back to scalp Akeal Hosein’s wicket, leaving West Indies in deep trouble at 90-5 after 13.5 overs.

Though wickets were falling at regular intervals, Pooran continued his counter-attacking knock and tried to hold up the West Indies innings as his brilliant fifty came in the 17th over. He got the much-needed support from skipper Kieron Pollard from the other end.

Just when it looked like both Pollard and Pooran would finish big, Harshal Patel got rid of the latter with a slower ball. It was another off-cutter into the slot but since it’s outside off, Pooran (61 off 43 balls) failed to time it properly and was caught by Kohli at long-off.

From there on, Pollard (24 off 19) hit a few good shots but Patel bowled a disciplined last over to restrict West to 157-7 in 20 overs. Odean Smith (4) got out in the last ball of the innings as Rohit Sharma took a brilliant catch to end things in the first innings.

Brief scores: West Indies 157/7 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 61, Kyle Mayers 31; Ravi Bishnoi 2/17, Harshal Patel 2/37) lost to India 162-4 in 18.5 overs (Rohit Sharma 40, Ishan Kishan 35; Roston Chase 2/14) by six wickets

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