After winning the Test and ODI series comfortably, it was time for India to host Windies in the shortest format of the game. The Eden Gardens, Kolkata was the venue for the first T20I. The hosts continued the winning run despite the change in the format and took a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to field first keeping the dew factor in mind. Umesh Yadav provided an early breakthrough by sending back Denesh Ramdin for 2. Shai Hope got into a mess in running between the wickets and got run-out for 14. Jasprit Bumrah accounted for Shimron Hetmeyer’s wicket for 10 as the visitors were reeling at 31/3 after the end of the powerplay.
The early wickets pegged Windies back and they never recovered. The Indian spinners came into the attack and kept the pressure up. The debutant Krunal Pandya bagged his first international wicket in the form of Kieron Pollard for 14. It was then time for Kuldeep Yadav to spread his magic.
The Chinaman removed Darren Bravo, Rovman Powell and Carlos Brathwaite in quick succession to leave the opposition struggling at 63/7 after 15 overs. Fabian Allen scored 27 runs before falling to Khaleel Ahmed. Keemo Paul and Khary Pierre’s short cameo took the side to 109/8 after 20 overs which happened to be the lowest score for Windies in T20I cricket against India.
The hosts were expected to dominate with the bat but the visitors made it tough for them. The pacer Oshane Thomas bowled a fiery spell and removed both the Indian openers. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan went back without making an impact. Thomas bowled consistently over 140 clicks and made life difficult for the batsmen.
Brathwaite then got the wickets of Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul as India was down to 45/4 in the 8th over. Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey came together and weathered the storm. They could afford to play themselves in as there wasn’t too much scoreboard pressure. Pandey, after sharing a stand of 38 runs, departed for 19 courtesy Pierre.
Karthik stood firm and anchored the chase pretty well. Krunal was impressive with the bat too as he played a quickfire knock of 21 from just 9 balls to take the side past the target safely. Karthik stayed unbeaten at 31 as India chased down the target with 13 balls to spare.
India won the toss and opted to bowl first
Windies: 109/8 in 20 overs
Fabian Allen 27 (20), Keemo Paul 15 (13)
Kuldeep Yadav 13/3 (4), Krunal Pandya 15/1 (4)
India: 110/5 in 17.5 overs
Dinesh Karthik 31* (34), Krunal Pandya 21* (9)
Carlos Brathwaite 11/2 (4), Oshane Thomas 21/2 (4)
India won by 5 wickets
Player of the Match: Kuldeep Yadav
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