TAROUBA, Trinidad (CMC):
West Indies produced a chaotic run chase to slump to a heavy 69-run defeat to India in the opening Twenty20 International at Brian Lara Stadium.
Faced with a challenging 191 for victory here yesterday, the Caribbean side flopped spectacularly to end on 122 for eight from their 20 overs, never really threatening the Asian powerhouses at any stage.
Shamarh Brooks’s top score of 20 underlined the mediocrity of the run chase, West Indies losing three wickets in the first power play, crawling to 73 for four at the halfway stage and failing to recover at the back end.
Not for the first time, West Indies were undone by India’s spinners, off-spinner Ravi Ashwin (2-22) and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2-26), making key strikes while left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh (2-24) added another brace of wickets.
India had earlier posted 190 for six off their 20 overs with captain Rohit Sharma top-scoring with 64 off 44 deliveries and Dinesh Karthil blasting a 19-ball unbeaten 41 to quicken the scoring late on.
West Indies appeared to be shackling India when they restricted them to 88 for three at the halfway stage but Karthik’s fireworks saw the visitors plunder 102 runs from the last 10 overs.
“We got a good start but the batters did not carry on,” said a disappointed West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran.
“We lost wickets every time we had some momentum and that cost us. We had already lost four wickets in the first 10 overs and that cost us the game.”
He added: “The players [are] feeling very hurt but this is the first game of the T20 series and we will look to bounce back.”
Sent in, India were guided by Rohit, the right-hander lashing seven fours and a six as he put on 44 off 28 balls for the first wicket with Suryakumar Yadav who made 24 from 16 deliveries.
When Suryakumar and Shreyas Iyer (zero) fell in the space of eight balls at 45 for two in the sixth over, Rohit added another 43 for the third wicket with Rishabh Pant (14) before becoming one of four wickets to perish for 50 runs as West Indies took control of the encounter.
UNBROKEN 52-RUN PARTNERSHIP
Labouring at 138 for six at the end of the 16th over, India were lifted by Karthik who belted four fours and two sixes in an unbroken 52-run, seventh-wicket partnership with Ashwin (13 not out).
In reply, West Indies raced to 22 in the second over before left-hander Kyle Mayers, who counted two fours and a six in a six-ball 15, top-edged Arshdeep to midwicket.
Jason Holder, promoted to three, lasted four deliveries before he was bowled by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja without scoring in the next over, leaving the home side on 27 for two and Brooks missed a heave at a Bhuvneshwar Kumar slower ball and was also bowled, after striking two fours and a six.
Shimron Hetmyer (14), in his first international in nine months, and Pooran (18) tried to stage a recovery in a 24-run fourth-wicket stand – the best partnership of the innings – but once they were parted in the ninth over, the innings fizzled out.