Hosts West Indies beat India by four runs in first T20I

West Indies beat India by four runs in their first T20I at the Brian Lara Stadium to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. India’s pacers restricted the West Indies to 149/6 in 20 overs as the hosts batted first after winning the toss. Rovman Powell (48) and Nicolas Pooran (41) were the top scorers for the West Indies. For India, Yuzvendra Chahal (2/24) and Arshdeep Singh (2/31) were the most successful bowlers. Skipper Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav picked up a wicket apiece.

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Replying, India’s openers Ishan Kishan (6) and Shubman Gill (3) were dismissed cheaply within the first five overs. However, Suryakumar Yadav (21 off 21) and debutant Tilak Varma (39 off 22) formed a crucial partnership to revive India’s innings. Making his debut for India, Tilak showed no signs of pressure and played some impressive shots. Meanwhile, Suryakumar provided valuable support from the other end.

The partnership was broken by Jason Holder, who dismissed Suryakumar in the ninth over. Soon, Tilak was dimissed by Romario Shepherd in the next over, leaving India at 77/4 after 11 overs. Skipper Hardik Pandya (19 off 19) and Sanju Samson (12 off 12) then stabilised the innings with a 36-run partnership before both got out in the 16th over. At this point, the hosts looked to be in control of the match once again.

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Axar Patel’s 13 off 11 offered some hope, but he fell in the 19th over. Arshdeep Singh hit a cameo of 12 off 7 to keep India in the run chase until the second last ball of the innings. But in the end, the Men in Blue ultimately fell short and were stranded at 145/9 in 20 overs.

Obed McCoy (2/28), Jason Holder (2/19), and Romario Shepherd (2/33) were the most successful bowlers for the West Indies.

In the first innings, West Indies started strongly with opener Brandon King performing well in the first four overs. But Yuzvendra Chahal’s double strike dismissed both openers, Kyle Mayers and King in quick succession. Pooran provided some momentum for the West Indies with a boundary and a massive six during the power-play.

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Kuldeep Yadav’s introduction into the attack in the eighth over resulted in the wicket of Johnson Charles, with Tilak Verma taking the catch.

The Indian bowlers managed to keep the host’s run rate in check, and at the halfway mark, West Indies were 69/3. Rovman Powell’s contribution of a couple of boundaries added crucial runs to the total.

In the 14th over, Kuldeep nearly dismissed Powell with a googly, but the West Indies captain survived as Shubman Gill dropped the catch. However, Pandya managed to dismiss the well-set Pooran for 41 in the next over.

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Shimron Hetmyer hit a boundary, and Powell finished the 15th over with a six. By then, the West Indies had reached the 100-run mark.

In the penultimate over, Arshdeep struck, removing Hetmyer for 10. In the same over, he dismissed the dangerous-looking Powell for 48, preventing him from reaching a fifty.

The West Indies managed to score 149/6 in their 20 overs, with Mukesh Kumar keeping the total to a minimum in his final over.

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