In the first T20I between West Indies and India, a brilliant bowling display by Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, and Obed McCoy, especially in the death overs, helped West Indies secure a thrilling four-run victory over India. This win gave West Indies a 1-0 lead in the five-match T20I series held at Trinidad and Tobago.
During India’s chase of 150 runs, they faced early setbacks with Shubman Gill getting stumped by Nicholas Pooran off Akael Hosein’s delivery after scoring only three runs off nine balls. India was 5/1 in 2.2 overs.
Suryakumar Yadav came in next and attacked Akael Hosein and Alzarri Joseph, hitting them for boundaries and sixes. However, Ishan Kishan’s struggles in T20Is continued as he fell to Obed McCoy after scoring just six runs off nine balls. India was 28/2 in 4.5 overs.
Debutant Tilak Varma showed promise and hit two sixes in quick succession before falling to Romario Shepherd after scoring 39 runs off 22 balls. At the end of the powerplay, India was at 45/2.
India managed to reach the 50-run mark in 7 overs, and at the end of 10 overs, they were at 70/3, with skipper Hardik Pandya (2*) and Tilak (33*) unbeaten.
Hardik Pandya and Sanju Samson built a partnership, helping India reach the 100-run mark in 14.1 overs. However, the 16th over turned the game in favor of the West Indies as Holder dismissed Pandya and later, Samson was run out. India was reduced to 113/6 in 16 overs, needing 37 runs in the final four overs.
The 17th over, bowled by Romario Shepherd, was tight and gave away only five runs, reducing the required runs to 32 in the final three overs. India managed to score 11 runs in the next over, including a six by Axar Patel, giving them hope with 21 needed in the final two overs.
However, Axar Patel was dismissed for 13 in the 18th over, and India was left struggling at 129/7 in 18.1 overs.
Arshdeep Singh played a cameo with two back-to-back fours in the last over but couldn’t take India over the line as they ended at 144/9 in 20 overs, falling four runs short of the target.
Earlier, India’s strong bowling attack restricted West Indies to 149/6 in their 20 overs, with Rovman Powell top-scoring with 48 runs off 32 balls and Nicholas Pooran contributing 41 runs off 34 balls. Arshdeep Singh and Yuzvendra Chahal took two wickets each, while Kuldeep Yadav and captain Hardik Pandya scalped one wicket each.
In the end, West Indies emerged victorious, thanks to a composed and tight bowling performance in the death overs by Shepherd, Holder, and McCoy.
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