Pooran guides Windies to two-wicket victory over India; lead T20I series 2-0

India’s Tilak Varma (51) hit his first T20I half-century, but it was Nicholas Pooran’s brilliant 67 off 40 balls that led West Indies to a narrow victory by two wickets, securing a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Romario Shepherd (2-28), Alzarri Joseph (2-28), and Akeal Hosein (2-29) claimed two wickets each as the Men in Blue struggled to reach 152/7 in their 20 overs. Thanks to Varma, who came in at 76/4, India managed to set a competitive total.

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Despite losing Kuldeep Yadav to an injury early on, India’s skipper Hardik Pandya bowled superbly early on. He took two wickets in the first over of the West Indies’ chase. The hosts found themselves tottering at 32/3 in the fourth over, but Pooran’s explosive performance, supported by skipper Rovman Powell (21) and Shimrom Hetmyer (22), revived their hopes of a comeback.

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Pooran was ruthless against the Indian spinners, smashing six boundaries and four sixes. He was especially harsh on Mukesh Kumar and Ravi Bishnoi, hammering them for sixes and fours. Despite losing three wickets in the 16th over, the West Indies managed to scrape through to victory. The chase was possible thanks to Akeal Hosein (16 not out) and Alzarri Joseph (10 not out), who added a crucial 26-run partnership for the ninth wicket.

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Earlier, India struggled in their innings yet again, losing three wickets for just 60 runs midway through the innings. Opener Shubman Gill (7) and Suryakumar Yadav (1) failed to make an impact, although Ishan Kishan and Tilak Varma steadied the ship with a partnership. Kishan scored 27 runs, including two sixes, but ultimately fell to a delivery from Romario Shepherd.

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Varma played an important knock, scoring his half-century with five fours and a six off 41 balls. Hardik Pandya contributed with 24 off 18 deliveries, but India failed to accelerate and set a more substantial total. West Indies’ impressive batting display allowed them to secure the 2-0 series lead. This is the first time since 2016 that they have defeated India in two consecutive T20I matches.

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