West Indies v India, 1st T20I: 5 Talking Points

West Indies v India, 1st T20I: 5 Talking Points

Andre Russell
(Photo Source: BCCI)

West Indies snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as they beat India in the 1st T20I of the 2-match bilateral ODI series at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Florida. India, after been set a massive target of 246 runs to chase. The ‘Men in Blue’, powered by KL Rahul’s century and fabulous knocks from Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni nearly pulled off the chase before faltering at the last moment.

1. India bowlers left with a swollen face:

The historic T20 series between India and West Indies began with crazy fireworks with the Caribbean Kings hammering the Indian bowlers to all corners. Openers Johnston Charles and Evin Lewis launched a brutal assault and took West Indies to a massive 245/6 at the end of 20 overs. It was a brutal carnage. Chris Gayle, who could not play the game due to an injury, was not missed at any moment.

It all began with MS Dhoni putting West Indies to bat after winning the toss. Both Charles and Lewis looked in no mood to spare the opposition and left the Indian bowlers black and blue. Both powered the team past the 100 run mark before the end of 8th over. Charles in particular in top form and dominated the Indian bowlers as Lewis played second fiddle. Both piled on 126 runs for the 41st wicket before Charles was dismissed for 79 and the partnership was broken.

2. Evin Lewis murders Stuart Binny:

While every Indian bowler was hammered mercilessly, It was Stuart Binny was treated in the harshest manner. MS Dhoni’s decision to bring in Binny turned horrific. As he was brutally smashed for 32 runs in an over including 5 consecutive sixes sprayed all over the park. The over began with Lewis welcoming him a six over the deep mid-wicket.

The second ball was hit over the sight screen. The third ball, a low full toss, was struck for another maximum in the long off region. A change of pace in the next delivery was unsuccessful as it was thumped over the point region for another one. It became five in five for him after the 5th ball was smacked into the car parking. Luckily for Binny, a somewhat tired looking Lewis mis-hit the next delivery and failed to equal the record for six sixes in an over.

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3. DJ Bravo – The champion:

It was the last ball of the 3rd over by Andre Russell. It was a shorter on aimed at the body which Rahane nudged softly over the slips. The ball took a thick edge and went flying towards the third man region. DJ Bravo put on a brilliant sideways diving effort to snatch the catch inches above the ground and leave everyone stunned. An over later, Bravo turned hero with the ball, taking the most important wicket of the match – Virat Kohli. This was a big moment of the match. It was a smart shorter one on cramping Kohli for room and forcing him to edge one down leg side to wicket keeper Fletcher.

Forget everything. He reserved his best for the last over of the match. India fought back really well and needed just 8 runs off the last over. Brathwaite turned to Bravo and he did not fail to deliver and bowled a champion over. The over began with a heart-stopping moment after Dhoni was dropped off a thick edge off the very first delivery he then gave away 6 runs off the first five balls leaving thematic hanging at 2 runs off the last delivery. Then began the mind games as Bravo made Dhoni waiting for close to five minutes chatting with Pollard and Brathwaite and when he finally ran into bowl, he changed the forced Dhoni to play a tame shot and snatch the match by one run.

4. KL Rahul’s heroics:

KL Rahul was arguably the hero of the match. India was reduced to 48/2 after the loss of Rahane and Kohli. Indian then found relief in the form of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul who put together 89 runs for the 3rd wicket. However, India suffered a huge setback after Sharma was dismissed in the 12th over. At this moment, it looked like the momentum was set to change. But, Rahul was in a different mood and changed the complexion of the match batting with MS Dhoni, putting up a match-defining 107 runs stand for the 4th wicket. On the course to taking India to a match-winning situation, he completed his maiden T20 century.

5. What goes around comes around:

It was a runs galore at the venue. The day began with Johnson Charles and Evin Lewis putting up 126 runs stand in just 9.3 overs for the first wicket. Their stand was studded with 10 sixes. Both made the game look like some beneficiary match. After Charles departed for 79, Lewis, took center stage and struck a 100 off just 49 balls to propel West Indies to 245/6. The Indian bowlers were left screaming for the mercy. However, there were more fireworks waiting to happen as Indian batsmen treated the Windies bowlers in the same manner. After starting bit hesitantly, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and MS Dhoni smacked them to all corners and nearly chased down the improbable target.

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