Tilak debut a bright spot as West Indies defeat India in 1st T20I

Courtesy: Debasis Sen

A fine all-round performance helped the West Indies edge past India by a mere four runs in the first T20I in Trinidad. The visitors could only muster 145 for 9 in pursuit of a target of 150.

With four overs to go, India needed 37 runs on a track that offered some spongy bounce. It soon became 32 runs off three overs, with Alzarri Joseph bowling a tight over. At that moment, Axar Patel landed a meaty blow down the ground off Holder, reducing the equation to 21 runs off two overs. However, India suffered another setback when McCoy used his tried and tested off-cutter to remove Axar.

With India in trouble at 129 for 6, there was another twist in the tale as Arshdeep Singh hit boundaries through fine leg and extra cover off McCoy. However, Shepherd bowled full and straight, including the wide yorker, restricting India to just five runs in the last over. In that over, the seamer also bowled out Kuldeep Yadav, while Arshdeep was run out at the striker’s end.

The problem with India’s innings was that none of the batters converted their starts into substantial scores. After Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill were removed by the pace-spin of McCoy and Akeal Hossein, Suryakumar and Tilak Varma (39 runs), the debutant, had stitched a promising stand of 39.

Unfortunately for the tourists, Suryakumar fell to Holder, with Shimron Hetmyer taking a sharp catch at extra cover. Hetmyer also played his part in Tilak’s dismissal by grabbing a catch at deep backward square leg. Shepherd was the wicket-taker on that occasion. Meanwhile, it was a fine display from Tilak, with the youngster hitting some eye-catching cuts and lofts.

Hardik Pandya and Sanju Samson tried to stabilize the innings with a partnership of 36, but both of them fell in the 16th over – the former was bowled by Holder, while the latter was run out with a direct-hit by Kyle Mayers. The lower-order batters tried to take India past the finishing line, but they perhaps had too much to do in rather tricky batting conditions. For the home side, Holder, McCoy, and Shepherd took two wickets each.

Earlier, Nicholas Pooran (41 off 34 balls) and Rovman Powell (48 off 32 deliveries) played crucial innings to propel the West Indies to a fighting total. Brandon King, the opener, also chipped in with a useful hand of 28 from 19 deliveries. On the other hand, Yuzvendra Chahal and Arshdeep took two wickets each for the visiting side. Mukesh Kumar, the other debutant for India, ended up with figures of none for 24 from three overs.

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