Windies v India, Only T20I Review: Evin Lewis hammers a ton to comfortably gun down 190

Windies v India, Only T20I Review: Evin Lewis hammers a ton to comfortably gun down 190

The current T20 world champions defeated India, while also achieving their highest chase at home, with nine balls and nine wickets to spare.

West Indies
West Indies’ players celebrate. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Sabina Park set itself up for the return of some of the Windies’ more prominent stars, namely Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree and Marlon Samuels. But most importantly, Jamaica welcomed one of its favourite sons – because there’s Usain Bolt there as well – Chris Gayle back into the national side for the one-off T20I against India.

After putting up a set of ordinary performances in the ODI series, the Windies looked a reinvigorated side on paper. But who’d have thought that Chris Gayle would bat at a sub-100 strike rate and stand and watch Evin Lewis smash the ball to all parts of the park? To top it off, Lewis thundered to a 53-ball century which made India’s 190 look like peanuts.

India get off to a flyer

However, the hosts were in troubled waters after having put India in to bat first. On what turned out to be a batsman’s paradise, India’s openers raced to 60 before the end of the first Powerplay. Back at the opening slot for the shortest format of the game, skipper Virat Kohli took charge with a flurry of boundaries. Shikhar Dhawan added on as well, but Kohli departed against the run of play for 39. After two deliveries, Dhawan found himself walking back to the hut as well following a terrible mix-up with Rishabh Pant.

The youngster Pant was joined by Dinesh Karthik, and they both took time to settle into the crease. India’s run-rate, which was once in excess of 10.5, dropped to the 9s. However, having found his groove, Karthik picked up the tempo as he neared a fifty. Marlon Samuels dismissed DK two short of what would have been a useful half century, which in the context of the game, would have allowed him to go all out as well. In retrospect, Karthik’s dismissal was the turning point in the Indian innings as the visitors lost four wickets within a space of 13 runs. Neither Dhoni nor Jadhav were able to make any useful contributions. Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant perished for a scratchy 38.

What once looked like a total that would go well north of 200 ended up being curtailed to 190, courtesy of some disciplined bowling by the Windies. India’s middle order failed to capitalise on the platform laid by Dhawan and Kohli. The captain would have thought at the halfway mark that India were about a dozen short. As it turned out, they were short by many more, many many more.

The Evin Lewis hurricane

Sabina Park was not hit by a Gayle-storm, but Evin Lewis single-handedly blew the Indians away. The Evin Lewis in the one-dayers and the Evin Lewis in Kingston on Sunday looked like two different people. Luckily for the Windies, he looked like his old swashbuckling self, who finally lived up to his big-hitting reputation. Lewis took charge from the outset and ensured his team was ahead of the asking rate of 9.5 runs an over.

The onslaught began in the fourth over of the chase, when Mohammed Shami went for three consecutive boundaries. Lewis followed it up by smashing Ravichandran Ashwin for two back-to-back sixes. His fifty had come off 24 balls, with four boundaries and as many sixes.

The left-hander survived a scare right after Powerplay when Dinesh Karthik dropped him on 55. He also got away with an appeal for a stumping; even Dhoni’s lightning glovework wasn’t quick enough. Gayle perished for a sub-standard 18 off 20 balls, which was India’s only high in the second innings. For Evin Lewis though, nothing changed, as his sixer-crazy side took over, so much so that by the time he got to his century, he had smashed nine of them.

Perhaps Chris Gayle was wearing an Evin-Lewis mask, and after the end of the game, he’d peel it off to reveal his true identity, much like in the Mission Impossible series. But no, it was very much Evin Lewis himself who was taking the Indians to the cleaners. Neither the Jadejas nor the Kuldeeps could stop this monster at the crease. En route to his match-winning knock, Lewis became the Windies’ highest scorer in a T20I inning. When he smashed his twelfth six of the innings to win the game for the Windies, his unbeaten 125 also became the highest score in a T20I chase.

Jamaica might have wanted Gayle to stage a resounding comeback to the international team. Instead, they were treated to a devastating ton by Evin Lewis, who gave the Windies something to cheer about following their disappointing ODI series. And so, the current T20 world champions defeated India, while also achieving their highest chase at home, with nine balls and nine wickets to spare.

Brief scores 

India – 190 (Dinesh Karthik 48, Virat Kohli 39, Jerome Taylor 2/31)

Windies – 194 (Evin Lewis 125*, Kuldeep Yadav 1/34)