West Indies blow away India in One-Off T-20
The rejuvenated West Indian team delivered a solid punch to team India in the one off twenty-20 on Saturday.
The Indian team led by Virat Kohli lost the match even as it scored an impressive 190 runs after being asked to bat first by the toss winning host nation captain Holding.
Team India was off to a flying start when skipper Kohli opened the innings with his Delhi team mate and southpaw Shikhar Dhawan scored at will and got 60 odd runs after four overs. Both openers went after the Windies bowling and did not let loose any scoring opportunity.
Kohli in particular who promoted himself in the batting order to escalate the scoring did not disappoint his fans by his lusty hitting and soon the Windies bowlers found themselves at the receiving end. Sixes and fours were flowing from the bat of Indian captain and suddenly he lost his concentration and spooned up an easy catch to mid off. Immediately thereafter Dhawan found stranded in the middle when newcomer Pant after initially agreeing to a run asked him to go back to his crease. However a direct throw from the close in fielder put an end to southpaw’s brief innings.
From a solid position 60 for no loss, India slumped to two down and the Windies succeeded in putting the brakes on Indian innings. The early dismissal of former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav ruined the Indian hopes of putting up a majestic total and the team could post a reasonable total of 190 runs. The target was a challenging one and the Indian team was confident of containing and restricting the Windies which was refurbished with the inclusion of players of the caliber of Keiron Pollard and Suneil Narine.
Narine who was introduced at this stage of the game proved his worth when he checkmated the middle order Indian batsmen and helped his side immensely. The Indian batsmen found him too crafty and notwithstanding an useful contribution from Pant, Karthik and Jadeja, the team could not set up a target of over 200 runs.
The Windies battling line up which was heavily depending on Chris Gayle, found to their pleasant surprise that there was an equally brilliant batsman in Lewis. He belted the Indian bowlers all over the ground and looked invincible, while Gayle got himself out cheaply. He spared nobody and both the pacers and the spinners found it to their horror that the stylish left hander was in his elements on this d ay and there is no stopping him.
The fall of Gayle’s wicket brought Samuel to the crease and the two together held the Windies innings and the host nation crossed the target with nine deliveries to spare. Mohammad Shami who enjoyed a good reputation was targeted and attacked ruthlessly by the Windies who scored as many as 23 runs from his one over. The spinning trio of Ravichanran Ashwin, Ravinder Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav faced the brunt of Windies fury and son it was all over for the hapless India.
The Indians must have been thanking their stars that it was only One –Off match and there is no need the face the fearsome Windies batsmen. A much needed reprieve for team India.
Report by Leeladhar K K
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