Virat Kohli masterclass helped India chase their successful run chases in T20Is to win the first match played at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Friday.
Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to field first. Deepak Chahar got the breakthrough for the hosts as he dismissed Lendl Simmons cheaply for 2. Evin Lewis and Brandon King looked in great hitting form putting pressure on India’s bowling line with aggressive shot making. Lewis was severe on the bad balls and made the batting look easy. Before the end of power play overs, Washington Sundar dismissed the dangerous Lewis for 40 off 17 balls. West Indies were 66 for 2. Lewis and King added 51 runs for the 2nd wicket.
After the power play overs, Shimron Hetymer came to the crease and continued the momentum with taking singles and hitting big shots . Ravindra Jadeja got the wicket of Brandon King for 31. King and Hetymer added 37 runs for the 3rd wicket. Captain Kieron Pollard looked in aggressive touch smashing the Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground. Hetymer was given life by Washington Sundar and reached his fifty off just 35 balls. Yuzvendra Chahal broke the partnership dismissing Hetymer for well made 56. Hetymer and Pollard added 71 runs for the 4th wicket. Chahal dismissed the dangerous Pollard for 37 off 19 balls in the same over . Jason Holder and Denesh Ramdin scored quickfire 34 runs in 15 balls to help West Indies post a competitive total of 207 for 5 in 20 overs.
Chasing down a massive target of 208 runs to win, KL Rahul played with positive intent and continued his good form. Rohit Sharma was not looking at his best and could score just 8 runs. He was dismissed by Pierre. Indian openers added 30 runs in 3.2 overs. The Indian captain Virat Kohli did not look settled trying to hit the ball hard. At the end of six overs, India were 50 for 1.
After the power play overs, Virat Kohli played with second fiddle to KL Rahul. Rahul took on the West Indies bowlers. With the required run rate climbing, Kohli created pressure on visitors’ bowlers. Rahul reached his fifty off 37 balls. The Indian captain accelerated the run scoring. In attempt to hit another six, Rahul was caught by Pollard for a brilliant 62 off 40 balls. Pant who came at number 4 scored a quick fire 18 off 9 balls. Kohli and Pant added 48 runs for the 3rd wicket. Kohli was just timing the ball and hit the winning shot with a six. Kieron Pollard took a brilliant return catch to dismiss Iyer.
With 94*, Kohli registered his highest score in T20I cricket surpassing his 91 against Australia at Adelaide in 2016.
India 209 for 4 in 18.4 overs (Virat Kohli 94*, KL Rahul 62, Khary Pierre 2/44) beat West Indies 207 5 in 20 overs ( Shimron Hetymer 56, Evin Lewis 40, Kieron Pollard 37, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/36) by 6 wickets.
India takes a 1-0 lead in the 3 match T20I series. The 2nd T20I match will be played at Thiruvananthapuram on 8th December.