Thiruvananthapuram: Indian team’s frailties while batting first were thoroughly exposed by a disciplined West Indies, which kept the three-match T20 series alive with a comfortable eight-wicket victory in the second game here on Sunday.
A below-par score of 170 for 7 with only 38 runs in the final five overs was never going to be enough keeping the dew factor in mind and senior opener Lendl Simmons (67 not out off 45 balls) along with Evin Lewis (40 off 35 balls) added 73 for the first wicket to seal the issue. West Indies reached the target with as many as nine balls to spare.
With another poor day on the field barring an exceptional sidways running catch from skipper Virat Kohli, the Indian bowlers were way off target, especially spinners Ravindra Jadeja (1-22 in 2 overs) and Yuzvendra Chahal (0-36 in 3 overs) were off the mark.
West Indies’s dominance was evident by the half-dozen sixes that they hit apart from 11 boundaries compared to five maximums by the hosts, four of which were hit by rookie all-rounder Shivam Dube.
Simmons hot four sixes while Lewis hit three and it helped that the spinners didn’t vary the length of their deliveries. Unlike first innings, when hitting through the line was difficult, it became easier in the second innings with ball coming onto the bat easily. Nicholas Pooran (38 off 18 balls) coming back after a brief ban on charges of ball tampering, also added insult to injury with a couple of sixes and four boundaries.
After the Bangladesh T20 in Delhi, this is the second time in last five games that India have lost trying to post a competitive score. Dube justified his promotion in batting order with a smashing half-century but it was struggle for the other Indian batsmen after being put into bat.
Despite Dube’s 54 off 30 balls, which had four huge sixes apart from three fours, India didn’t get the required momentum during the death overs on a track where Caribbean seamers used a lot of back of length slower deliveries along with well disguised short balls.
In the last five overs, India couldn’t get the required momentum as Rishabh Pant (33 not out off 22 balls) tried his best to connect the big shots. The variation enabled West Indies to compensate for the 13 wides and two no-balls that they bowled during the evening. Kesrick Williams came back well with figures of 2 for 30 in four overs.
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