Rovman Powell and Nicholas Pooran’s six-hitting display nearly spoiled India’s night before they held on for a narrow win against West Indies in Kolkata on Friday, February 18 to seal the T20I series.
Powell and Pooran teamed up when the West Indies were in trouble, but they were able to save the chase and give India a scare with a century stand that took only 60 deliveries. Harshal Patel withstood an attack and came back strong in the final over to provide an 8-run win. Pooran’s wicket in the penultimate over proved to be the key before Harshal Patel withstood an assault and came back strong in the final over to deliver an 8-run win.
Also read: 2nd T20I: Holder replaces Allen as Windies bowl against unchanged India
West Indies, who have struggled with the bat on this tour, didn’t appear to be a team capable of chasing down a target of 187 when they began their innings. Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar found swing, while Kyle Mayers and Brandon King didn’t use the powerplay. As a result, something had to give when only 34 runs were scored in the first five overs. Mayers had a thick leading edge, and Yuzvendra Chahal, the bowler, ate it up.
On the other hand, King had an awful nightmare when he failed to tee off. Despite the fact that Pooran started his innings with a bang, WI’s hopes were severely harmed by King’s failure to get going. His patchy knock eventually came to an end when he smashed one straight to the fielder at long-on for a 30-ball 22.
Also read: India vs West Indies, 2nd T20I: Rohit Sharma-led India aim to win series against West Indies
The Pooran-Powell storm
The visitors needed something exceptional from their power-hitters in the middle order to get them back on track at 59/2 in the ninth over. In the guise of Pooran and Powell, they discovered two saviours. Pooran, who had already struck a fifty in the first game, was on the money again, consistently fetching boundaries. Powell then perfected the draw to begin with a bang. While Pooran took advantage of Ravi Bishnoi’s reprieve, Powell also got in on the act to help turn things around.
43 runs in four overs signalled a shift in momentum, and the West Indies suddenly required 63 runs from their final five overs. Rohit Sharma had two vital Harshal Patel overs under his sleeve, but had to trust on Bhuvneshwar and Chahar at the other end to get the job done. While Bhuvneshwar did not disappoint, Chahar was blasted for a few sixes, keeping the visitors in the game.
Also read: Ajinkya Rahane slams century in Ranji Trophy ahead of Sri Lanka Test series
How did India turn it around?
With the red-hot Pooran and Powell at the crease, 37 runs from 18 deliveries were required. West Indies appeared to be the clear favourites to win this match based only on momentum. But India still had two overs of Harshal to rely on, and he delivered by giving only eight runs in the 18th over.
Bhuvneshwar then went one better, allowing only four runs in the last over, which also saw Pooran mistime one, although Bishnoi did not repeat his error. As a result, 25 runs were required off the final six balls, and Powell caused some concern when he hammered the third and fourth balls of the over for sixes, but Harshal’s well-hidden slower ball sealed the game.
Also read: ‘You can’t survive on that one innings’: Edulji wants Kaur, Verma dropped
Did India jump off to a good start?
Ishan Kishan battled once more, this time being harassed by Sheldon Cottrell, who eventually wentbbled him up for a wicket-maiden start. Virat Kohli, on the other hand, took a positive approach and dealt with boundaries.
Brandon King missed out on a chance offered by Rohit Sharma, but that didn’t seem to bother West Indies. Rohit was unable to shift gears, and a miscued six assisted him in pushing his strike rate above 100 percent. In an attempt to speed up the game, the Indian captain misfired another shot, this time off Roston Chase, falling for an 18-ball 19.
Also read: Watch: ‘How can you call it a wide?’, Rohit Sharma gets annoyed with umpire’s decision
Chase rains on India’s parade
The offspinner proved to be an unlikely hero for the West Indies, as he assisted them in putting the brakes on India’s momentum. Chase’s entrance, despite Kohli’s fluency, dried up the boundaries by delivering a nagging length. Suryakumar Yadav followed, mistiming one back to the offspinner, much to the joy of the West Indies, and Kohli became Chase’s third victim of the night.
With the score at 46, the former India captain hit a crisp drive, only for Jason Holder to palm it over the boundary rope. Chase, on the other hand, got the job done with a gem that pitched and turned in to beat the batsman’s defence and destroy the stumps with his next delivery.
Also read: AB de Villiers turns 38: 5 memorable innings by Mr 360
So how did India still manage to put up 186?
Pant and Venkatesh are to be thanked for it. India raced from 110/4 to 186 in 14 overs, due to two left-handed bowlers who went crazy at the finish. Pant scored 14 runs off Kieron Pollard’s only over, while Iyer got rolling at the other end thanks to Cottrell’s consecutive boundaries.
Holder took the brunt of the attack near the finish, as both batsmen snatched a six apiece, wreaking havoc on his figures, as he ended up giving 45 runs in his quota. India may have easily passed 190 if it hadn’t been for a top over from Romario Shepherd to end the innings. West Indies just had themselves to blame for their sluggish start, which ultimately cost them the game.