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India beat Windies by 6 wickets in 1st T20

India beat Windies by 6 wickets in 1st T20
Indian players celebrate after taking a wicket during their first T20 match against West Indies in Hyderabad on Friday.
Hyderabad, Dec 6 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 12/6/2019 11:32:40 AM IST

Virat Kohli (94 not out) produced another batting masterclass after KL Rahul's stroke-filled 62 to help India gun down their highest-ever T20I chase and taking a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series. 

Previously India's chase of 207 vs Sri Lanka in Mohali, 2009, was their highest in the format. In the process, Kohli also became the sole owner of the record of most fifties in T20Is, going past Rohit Sharma's 22 T20I half-centuries.

Earlier, Virat Kohli won the toss and invited West Indies to bat first on what looked like a surface tailor-made to favor the batsmen. Evin Lewis started the innings with a bang hitting a boundary and a six off the 1st overs bowled by Washington Sundar. But Kohli's decision seemed like it was bearing fruit when Deepak Chahar in his very first over got rid of Lendl Simmons (2) getting him to edge behind to Rohit Sharma at first slip. 

However, Lewis and new batsman Brandon King exploited the wayward bowling from the Indians who kept on bowling a number of short deliveries into the arc of the duo. 

Lewis' innings (40 off 17) was cut short by Sundar as he was adjudged LBW but it didn't tilt the momentum in India's favour as King (31 off 23) continued to hit boundaries at will before falling to Ravindra Jadeja.

Shimron Hetmyer then took over and flayed the Indian bowlers to all parts of the field racing to his maiden T20I fifty off 35 balls. He found an able partner in West Indies captain Kieron Pollard who took no time to settle himself. While West Indies kept going at around 10 runs per over, they must thank the Indian fielders for not being too much of obstruction in their way. A number of fielding lapses told the sorry story for India.

However, Yuzvendra Chahal returned to the attack in the 18th to remove the set duo in his 1st 3 balls and for the first time, it looked like India could restrict West Indies below 200. But Jason Holder's electrifying cameo (24* off 9) meant that India would have to chase their highest total in history.

Still, India would have been upbeat when KL Rahul started the chase with 3 fours of the 2nd over of the innings bowled by Holder. But the crowd soon went silent when Rohit Sharma (8) hit one straight to deep midwicket. Rahul was then joined by Kohli.

Rahul at the other end reaped the rewards of his good form with the bat in his state team Karnataka's title-winning run in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Rahul punished the slightest of errors from the West Indies bowlers to launch his 7th half-century in the format. The duo kept up with the required run-rate collecting a boundary almost every over before completing a 100-run stand for the 2nd wicket. That's when Rahul (62 off 40) mistimed a ball from Khary Pierre to Pollard stationed at long-off.

Rishabh Pant (18 off 9) gave a glimpse of his destructive self as he hit his first ball over mid-wicket for a huge six. Soon Kohli too started to find some welcome timing, completing his 23rd T20I fifty - most by anyone in the game - off 35 balls. 

The tipping point came when Kohli and Pant took 23 runs off the 16th over of the chase bowled by Kesrick Williams. Thereafter an Indian win was only a foregone conclusion even though Pant and then Shreyas Iyer (4) fell in quick succession.

Brief scores: 

West Indies 207/5 (Shimron Hetmyer 56, Evin Lewis 40; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/36)

India 209/4 (Virat Kohli 94 not out, KL Rahul 62; Khary Pierre 2/44)

 

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