India take unassailable 2-0 lead vs West Indies

India have taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the T20 series against the West Indies. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@SDhawan25
India have taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the T20 series against the West Indies. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@SDhawan25

The Indian cricket team has taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the 3-T20 series against the West Indies, with the first two matches having been played in Florida over the weekend. 

While the opening match on Saturday was a low scoring affair which saw India sneak in a win, the second, rain-interrupted, match on Sunday saw the Men in Blue dominate proceedings, before ultimately winning under the Duckworth-Lewis system. 

Here are the highlights: 

India vs West Indies, 1st T20

Winning the toss, Indian skipper Virat Kohli elected to field first and it didn’t take long before they had the West Indies in all sorts of trouble. The pitch was damp and two-paced, which allowed the Indian bowlers to use their slower balls effectively. Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed had the Windies struggling. 

Opener John Campbell fell off just the second ball of the innings while Evin Lewis dragged a Bhuvneshwar delivery onto his pad and then into the stumps – West Indies at 8/2. 

India’s young pacer Navdeep Saini did the real damage – getting big hitting Nicholas Pooran, and then Shimron Hetmyer the very next ball. Khaleel was in the wickets when he scalped the wicket of Rovman Powell, leaving the Windies tottering at 33/5 in six overs.

Kieron Pollard adjusted his big hitting style to the conditions and was ultimately one of only two West Indian batsmen to get into double figures. He scored an important 49, with four sixes and two fours, which eventually propelled the West Indies to a meagre 95/9 in 20 overs.

India were watchful in their chase with Shikhar Dhawan making a slow start. He didn’t last very long though, falling for 1 off 7 balls. The Men in Blue were in massive trouble when Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant fell off consecutive Sunil Narine deliveries – India struggling at 32/3 in the seventh over. 

Manish Pandey showed good intent and got the scoreboard moving before he fell for 19 off 14 balls. Virat Kohli took 29 balls to make his 19, clearly focusing on staying till the end as wickets crumbled around him. 

However, India were soon 69/5 and it was left to the likes of Krunal Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja to see them over the line, which they did. India ending with 98/6 in 17.2 overs for a 4-wicket win in what was a scrappy match.

India vs West Indies, 2nd T20

India won the toss in the second game as well, played the very next day at the same venue in Lauderhill, Florida and this time Kohli elected to bat first. 

Rohit Sharma carried his World Cup form into this match as he smashed his way to 67 off 51 balls. His innings saw 6 fours and 3 sixes as India raced to 52 for no loss in the Power play. Sharma was eventually dismissed by Oshane Thomas. Shikhar Dhawan at the other end struggled to score, eventually being bowled by Keemo Paul for 23. 

Virat Kohli put in a solid 28 off 23 balls but Rishabh Pant and Manish Pandey both failed to make a splash, out for four and six respectively. 

It seemed as though the Windies would restrict India to 150 after Rohit’s early heroics. However, Krunal Pandya stepped up and smashed 20 runs off 13 balls to propel India to 167/5 with a little help from Ravindra Jadeja.  

West Indies had Sunil Narine open the innings with Evin Lewis. However, neither lasted very long with Washington Sundar and Bhuvneshwar accounting for the openers – West Indies 9/2. 

Nicholas Pooran dug in and helped steady things with Rovman Powell, who displayed some muscle and went all out at the Indian bowlers. 

Navdeep Saini, who was Man of the Match in the first T20, was taken to the cleaners with 27 runs off 3 overs for the loss of no wickets. Powell powered his way to fifty off just 30 balls and the Windies were back in the game, needing 85 off 42 balls. 

However, Powell got no support from the other end with Pooran struggling to rotate the strike. Pooran was eventually sent back to the hut by Pandya and when Powell fell two balls later, a win was looking tough for the West Indies. 

Kieron Pollard and Shimron Hetmyer were at the crease the match was halted due to lightning – West Indies 22 runs behind the DLS par score, with the scoreboard at 98/4 in 15.3 overs, giving Indian an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.