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IND Vs WI, 1st T20: Middle Order Takes India Home After Ravi Bishnoi's Memorable Debut At Eden Gardens

After Ravi Bishnoi took 2/17, Suryakumar Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer scripted a six-wicket win for India against West Indies at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

India players celebrate a fall of a West Indies wicket in the first T20I in Kolkata on Wednesday.
India players celebrate a fall of a West Indies wicket in the first T20I in Kolkata on Wednesday. BCCI

India once again had to rely on the middle-order to bail them out after Ravi Bishnoi’s magic with the ball as the Men in Blue defeated West Indies by six wickets in the first game of the three-match T20 series at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday.

(Scorecard | IND vs WI 1st T20 Highlights | News

West Indies, who lost the ODI series 0-3, are still in search of their first win on the tour.

Chasing 158, India rode on an unbeaten 18-ball 34 by Suryakumar Yadav as they romped home in 18.5 overs. It was also the highest run chase in a T20 international at the Eden Gardens eclipsing West Indies’ 156 against England in the 2016 World Cup final.

From the outside, it might look like an easy chase for India but Rohit Sharma’s men were made to sweat despite a rollicking start. Rohit and Ishan Kishan put on 64 runs for the first wicket before the captain was out for a well-made 19-ball 40.

Kishan found it tough in the middle with a 42-ball 35 as West Indies bowlers took the center stage and the required run-rate shot up to 8.5 at one stage. He was eventually out in the 12th over with India still needing 65 runs to win. Roston Chase removed both the openers.

Virat Kohli’s lean patch with the bat continued with a mere 13-ball 17 and Rishabh Pant too didn’t get going falling for run-a-ball eight.

However, it was Suryakumar’s six and a four in the 17th over off Sheldon Cotrell, that eased things for India. The right-hander stitched 48 runs with Venkatesh Iyer (24 not out from 13 balls) for the unbeaten fifth wicket, to give India a 1-0 lead. Iyer finished things off with a huge six, over mid-wicket.

Earlier, sent into bat first, West Indies had the worst possible start when Brandon King nicked a back of the length delivery to Suryakumar Yadav at backward point in the fourth ball of the innings. Nicholas Pooran joined Kyle Mayers in the middle and the duo made up for the early loss with a 47-run second-wicket stand.

Mayers used the powerplay to a great effect as he cut loose hitting seven fours in his 24-ball 31 before being trapped in front by Yuzvendra Chahal. West Indies were 51/2 in 6.5 overs then. Pooran took over the charge from there as West Indies looked in great touch for a big total.

Debutant Ravi Bishnoi put water to West Indies’ plans with two wickets in the 11th over. He first trapped Roston Chase LBW, the right-hander failing to read the youngster’s googly in the second ball of the over.

Bishnoi picked his second three balls later when Rovman Powell tried to hit the leggie over long-on but holed out to Venkatesh Iyer near the boundary ropes. West Indies lost Akeal Hosein soon after, but it was Pooran, who steadied the visitors’ ship with occasional boundaries.

The left-hander, who was handed a heavy paycheck of Rs 10.75 crore from Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL auction 2022, got back to rhythm in style, scoring his 61 in 43 balls with five sixes and four boundaries.

A fit-again Kieron Pollard, who missed the last two matches in the ODI series, played a cameo (24 not out from 19 balls) with two fours and one six as West Indies recovered well in time to score 61 runs in the last five overs to take the team to a respectable 157/7 in 20 overs.

Harshal Patel took 2/37 while Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar and Chahal finished with a wicket apiece.

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