Debutant Bishnoi and skipper Sharma behind India’s convincing victory

By Kersi Meher-Homji

India continued her winning ways by defeating the West Indies by 6 wickets in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at Kolkata.

Thanks to Nicholas Pooran’s aggressive innings of 61 (which included 4 fours and 5 sixes) West Indies totaled 7 for 157 in the allotted 20 overs. The main wicket-takers for India were debutant 21-year leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2 for 17) and medium-pacer Harshal Patel (2 for 37).

India started her reply with a bang as skipper Rohit Sharma (40 runs with 4 fours and 3 sixes) and Ishan Kishan (35 with 4 fours) added 64 runs for the opening wicket. Then wickets started toppling and India was 4 for 114 in the 15th over.

The Windies bowlers and fielders appeared hungry for more wickets and victory but youngsters Suryakumar Yadav (34 not out with 5 fours and a six) and Venkatesh Iyer (24 not out with 2 fours and a six) took India to victory.

To cap it all, Venkatesh won the match for India with a huge six.

India won by 6 wickets with seven balls remaining to lead 1-0 in the three match series. Last week India had won the One Day International (ODI) series 3-0 at Ahmedabad.

A delighted Person of the Match Ravi Bishnoi said at the presentation, “The nerves are settled now (as he smiles). I was feeling very good, it’s everyone’s dream to play for India and I was feeling good. West Indies is one of the best T20 teams and I got the chance to play against them. I’ll try to cut down the wides next match. My strength is my length. There wasn’t much dew in our innings. I haven’t played a match with a lot of dew so far, but it does affect you. We practice for it though. I didn’t think I would get Man of the Match in my very first match, it’s a dream come true.”

The second T20I starts on Friday the 18th February and the final T20I on Sunday the 20th – both at Kolkata.

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