India have won the first match in their three match T20I series against West Indies at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata by 5 wickets.
Stand in captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat first. India named two debutants in their playing XI. Khaleel Ahmed and Krunal Pandya both got their first caps for the team in blue. West Indies had 3 debutants of their own in the form of Fabian Allen, Khary Pierre and Oshane Thomas.
The visitors got to a good start scoring 16 runs in the first 2 overs, thanks to Shai Hope. But Umesh Yadav gave India the much needed breakthrough when he dismissed Dinesh Ramdin in the start of the third over. KL Rahul and Manish Pandey combined well in the next over to inflict the runout of Hope. Shimron Hetmyer, after scoring two boundaries, lost his wicket to Jasprit Bumrah in the fifth over as the visitors were reduced to 28-3. Keiron Pollard and Darren Bravo started the resurrection for West Indies. But too many dot balls piled up the pressure. Pollard became Kuldeep’s first prey of the night in the 10th over.
Krunal Pandya got his maiden T20I wicket for India when he picked up Bravo as half of the away side were sent back to the pavilion for 49 runs. Kuldeep continued his fine form and was successful in chipping in with two more wickets to put West Indies in all sorts of trouble. Fabian Allen and Keemo Paul hit a few boundaries to help the visitors cross the 100 runs mark. They concluded their innings with 109 runs for the loss of 8 wickets.
The score on the board was not enough for the West Indies but there was a lot of help for the bowlers from the pitch. And it paid dividend when Oshane Thomas dismissed Rohit Sharma in the first over. Another ripper in the third over saw the end of Shikhar Dhawan who was completely beaten by the pace of Thomas’ delivery. A lackadaisical shot form Rishabh Pant brought his demise as Carlos Brathwaite got his first wicket of the night. The visitor Captain made it two in two overs after picking up KL Rahul. India found themselves in a precarious position with just 45 runs on the board for the loss of 4 wickets.
Karthik and Pandey started to construct a slow partnership as they looked to soak in the pressure from the bowlers. But the batsmen were successful in rotating the strike. A poor over from Pollard, who conceded three boundaries, helped India’s cause. Perrie got his first wicket in the 15th over as he was successful in breaking the 38 run partnership, removing Pandey for 19 runs. A cameo from Krunal Pandya, 21 runs from 9 balls, finished the job for the hosts as they chased down the target in the 18th over with 5 wickets remaining.
West Indies have a lots of positives to take despite the defeat. Bowlers, especially, Oshane Thomas looked in prime touch. This win meant that Rohit Sharma became the first player to win 9 games out of his first 10 matches as a captain. The second match of the series is at Lucknow on 6th of November.
Windies: 109-8 (20 o.)
Fabian Allen: 27 (20)
Keemo Paul: 15 (13)
Kuldeep Yadav: 4-0-13-3.
India: 110-5 (17.5 o.)
Dinesh Karthik: 31* (34)
Krunal Pandya: 21* (9)
Carlos Brathwaite: 4-1-11-2.
Man of The Match: Kuldeep Yadav.