Florida, Aug 3: Virat kohli led India cricket team defeated West Indies by Four wickets in the opening fixture of a three-match T20 international series at the Central Broward Stadium here on Saturday.
After opting to bowl first, the men in blue with the help of Navdeep Saini, who starred on his senior international debut with three important wickets, restricted Caribbean on 95 runs for nine wickets in 20 overs.
West Indies started off poorly when Washington Sundar struck in the first over while Evin Lewis was snapped up by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 0. West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals but Kieron Pollard played an aggressive knock of 49 off 49 balls with the help of 4 sixes. The results would have been different if Pollard had got support from the other end.
Chasing 96 for a win, India could snatch the win when 2.4 overs to spare, but struggled a lot to reach the target. Opener Rohit Sharma was the top-scorer with 24 while captain Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey contributed 19 each.
At one point, India were reduced to 32 for 2 in the seventh over with opener Shikhar Dhawan (1) and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant (0) dismissed cheaply.
Rohit's fast 24 came from 25 deliveries including two fours and two sixes. Apart from the difficult pitch, the attack from veteran off-spinner Sunil Narine (2/14) also added to India’s worries. Narine gave a good start by scalping Rohit and Pant in consecutive deliveries in the seventh over. Pant was out the first ball he faced while playing an irresponsible shot.
After quick dismissal of Manish Pandey and Kohli, India were at a crucial 69 for 5 in the 14th over. With 27 runs still needed for a victory, Krunal Pandya (12) added 19 runs with Ravindra Jadeja (10 not out). But the target proved too small in the end as Washington Sundar (8 not out) hit a six to take India to 98 for 6 to wrap up the match in 17.2 overs. UNI