Windies snatch opening T20 against India

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

West Indies’ Roston Chase (R) and Kyle Mayers embrace after defeating India by four runs in their first T20 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, in Tarouba, on Thursday August 3, 2023. – AP PHOTO

A brilliant bowling effort from West Indies stifled India’s vaunted batting lineup, to snatch a thrilling five-run victory in the first match of a five-match T20 series, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba.

Defending what looked like an inadequate 149 for six, West Indies took timely wickets, and difficult catches, to undermine India.

A maiden bowled by Man-of-the-match Jason Holder, in the 16th over, broke the back of the Indians, with the wickets of Hardik Pandya (bowled for 19) and Sanju Samson (run out for 12).

With India 113 for six and needing 37 from 24 balls, West Indies tightened the screws. Pacer Romario Shepherd was sensational in the final over, bowling out Kuldeep Yadav with the first ball with the opposition in search of ten runs for victory. Shepherd conceded just five runs as West Indies fans roared with delight.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat, West Indies got a good start courtesy of Brandon King (28), who rode his luck after being dropped while scoreless.

However, India seized the initiative with the wickets of Mayers (1), King and Johnson Charles (3).

But Nicholas Pooran, fresh off a blistering 137 from 55 balls in the Major League Cricket, gave the home fans a brief show with an entertaining 41 off 34 balls, alongside skipper Rovman Powell.

Pooran’s dismissal put the burden on Powell and he upped the ante, aided by two reprieves from India.

But the West Indies failed to push on, scoring just 21 runs in the last three overs.

Summarised Scores: WEST INDIES 149/6 (20 overs) – Rovman Powell 48, Nicholas Pooran 41, Brandon King 28; Arshdeep Singh 2/31, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/24 vs INDIA 145/9 (20 overs) – Tilak Varma 38, Suryakumar Yadav 21; Obed McCoy 2/28, Jason Holder 2/19, Romario Shepherd 2/33.