A possessed Virat Kohli took the West Indies attack apart at Hyderabad on Friday to give India a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series. A target of 208 runs became irrelevant with the skipper playing one of his best knocks. India won by six wickets with eight balls to spare and Kohli remained unbeaten on 94 off 50 after getting off to a very slow start. This is his highest T20I score, beating 90 not out against Australia at Adelaide in 2016. Hyderabad, a city in flames, got a treat from the skipper himself. But the foundation of the chase was laid by a brilliant KL Rahul, who scored 62 off 40. Rahul and Kohli added 100 runs for the second wicket after Rohit Sharma left in a hurry. Earlier in the match, Indian bowlers and fielders lost the plot against the likes of Evin Lewis Shimron Hetmyer and Kieron Pollard. But, then they have Kohli. For the record, it's also the highest target chased down by India. The previous high was 207 against Sri Lanka at Mohali in 2009. The second match is scheduled for Sunday at the Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram. Catch highlights of the match here:
India Innings, Target 208 Runs
10:27 PM IST: Kesrick Williams on with his last over. Virat Kohli takes a double off the first ball. Good response from the new man, Shivam Dube. The skipper hits the next ball for a mighty six over cover. And India reach 200.And Kohli finishes off with yet another majestic cover drive six. India win by six wickets with eight balls to spare. Kohli remained unbeaten on 94 off 50, with the help off six fours and six sixes.
10:24 PM IST: Kieron Pollard, the skipper, finally introduced himself. Shreyas Iyer takes a single, then it's captain vs captain. A wide, followed by a six over square leg boundary. Brilliant pick up, flick for the maximum. Kohli then looks at Pollard. The big Windies player had previously dismissed Kohli three times in T20Is. A review for LBW against Kohli, taken at the last moment, off the third ball. Not out. Then, a stunning catch on the follow-through to dismiss Iyer (4 off 6). Pollard has his moment. 11 runs from the over. IND - 193/4. Need 14 from 12.
10: 17 PM IST: Massive over for the West Indies. Sheldon Cottrell on and he gets the WICKET of Rishabh Pant (18 off 9). Caught at long off by Jason Holder. Poor shot, again. Wild swing. Birthday boy Shreyas Iyer joins Virat Kohli in the centre. Ravindra Jadeja is also celebrating his birthday today. And overthrow, with a mistake from Denesh Ramdin, for an extra run off the fifth ball. Five runs from the over. IND - 182/3 after 17 overs. Need 26 in 18 balls.
10:09 PM IST: Kesrick Williams on with his third over. And Virat Kohli takes off. And the skipper takes an epic jibe at the bowler, writing down the name of Windies player and dispatching it -- all in a very imaginative play-acting. Angry Kohli with his own notebook celebration! Well, he hits the second ball for a four, straight down the ground and follows it up with a six, over long-on. A single, then Rishabh Pant hits the fifth ball for a six over long-off. 20 runs from the over, and Kohli (68 off 41) keeps the strike. IND - 174/2 after 16 overs. 34 needed from 24 . Wait, the over wasn't over. A no-ball, caught late by the TV umpire. A double. 23 from the over. IND - 177/2.
10:00 PM IST: Jason Holder on with his last over. Virat Kohli hits the first ball for a six, over long off, to reach his 23rd fifty, in 35 balls. Then, a four to third man. Anil Chaudhary gets his second call tonight, another front-foot no-ball. A single off the free-hit as Kohli fails to make a proper connection with his pull shot. Two dot balls to Rishabh Pant and 15 runs from the over. IND - 154/2 after 15 overs. Need another 54 in 30 balls. Kohli on 57 off 38. Holder's figures: 0/46.
9:54 PM IST: Khary Pierre on with his last over. KL Rahul hits the second ball for a six, but gets the WICKET. Caught at long off by Kieron Pollard. Rahul made 62 off 40. Rishabh Pant joins skipper Virat Kohli in the centre, and hits the first ball he faces for a six, off the last delivery. IND - 139/2 after 14 overs. Pierre 's figures: 2/44.
9:48 PM IST: Kesrick Williams returns for his second over. KL Rahul survives a tough chance off the second ball. King goes for the dive but fails to reach the ball at square leg. A single, then the first-ever no-ball called by a TV umpire. Anil Choudhary is the man. Rahul wastes the free-hit by going with mistime shot. A single off the next ball and fifty for the opener in 37 balls, with the help of five fours and two sixes. Virat Kohli and Kesrick Williams on a collision course as the Indians take a quick single. Rahul hits the last ball for four. 13 runs from the over. IND - 123/1 after 13 overs. They need 85 from 42.
9:41 PM IST: Jason Holder returns for his third over. Virat Kohli, looking to increase the scoring rate, shuffles. Only a leg bye. Skipper watches a top edge going for a six over fine leg. And 100 for India. Then a full toss, which gets the treatment it deserved -- four to deep mid-wicket. A wide, then a quick single. 14 runs from the over. IND - 110/1 after 12 overs. Need another 98 from 48.
9:37 PM IST: Hayden Walsh on with his second over. Two singles, then a lucky for Virat Kohli. Bottom edges and a four. Seven runs from the over. KL Rahul on 47 off 33, Virat Kohli on 26 off 23. IND - 96/1 after 11 overs. Need another 112 runs.
9: 33 PM IST: Bowling change. Right-arm pacer Kesrick Williams on. A dot, then KL Rahul plays a brilliant cut shot for a four. Eight runs from the over, and at the half-way mark, India are 89/1. Need another 119. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli added 59 in 40 for the second wicket.
9:27 PM IST: Jason Holder returns. Good one from the former Windies captain. Fours singles and a wide from his second over. And fifty-runs stand between KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. IND - 81/1 after nine overs. They need another 127 runs from 66 balls.
9:22 PM IST: Khary Pierre on with his third over. Three singles, then five wides as Denesh Ramdin fails to take it. Trickles down for a four. Virat Kohli hits the fifth ball for a four, to deep extra cover. Brilliant placement from the Indian skipper. 14 runs from the over. IND - 76/1 after eight overs.
9:18 PM IST: Another bowling change. Hayden Walsh, right-arm leg break bowler, into the attack. A dot to Virat Kohli, and the Indian skipper hits the second ball for a four, past the bowler. Little uppish but safe. Good fielding from Cottrell to stop a certain four at short third man off the next ball. But Kohli gets his four, off the last ball, with a very fine cut shot. 12 runs from the over. IND - 62/1 after seven overs. They need another 146 runs from 78 balls.
9:14 PM IST: Khary Pierre continues. A single, the KL Rahul slog sweeps the second for a six. Virat Kohli takes another single, thanks to a misfield from his rival number Kieron Pollard, as India reach 50. Nine runs from the over. India need another 158 runs from 84 balls.
9:10 PM IST: Sheldon Cottrell on with his third over. Two runs from the first five balls. Then, KL Rahul hooks the last ball for a six. And Cottrell has something to say to Rahul. IND - 41/1 after five overs. Need another 167 runs from 90 balls at nearly 12.
9:05 PM IST: Bowling change and wicket. Left-arm spinner Khary Pierre starts with a wide, down the leg. Two wides. A dot, then wicket of Rohit Sharma (8 off 10). Caught by Shimron Hetmyer at cow corner. Virat Kohli is the new man. Five runs from the over. IND - 33/1 after four overs.
9:00 PM IST: Sheldon Cottrell continues. A single to KL Rahul, then hit Rohit Sharma on the arm. A brief stoppage as Rohit gets medical attention. Two singles, and Cottrell beats everyone with a bouncer for four byes. Rohit hits the last ball for a four to the third man. 11 runs from the over. IND - 28/0 after three overs. Need another 180.
8:55 PM IST: Jason Holder, right-arm fast-medium bowler, into the attack. KL Rahul welcomes him with a four, behind deep backward point. A dot to cover, then a lucky four -- bottom edges to fine leg. Followed by a smooth cut shot from Rahul for a four. 13 runs from the over. IND 17/0 after two overs. Need 191 more runs.
8:51 PM IST: Very good start from Sheldon Cottrell. Keeps Rohit Sharma in check. Two singles and a double. IND - 4/0. Need 204 more runs.
8:47 PM IST: Here's a list of highest targets chased down by India in T20I: 207 vs SL at Mohali in 2009, 202 vs Aus at Rajkot in 2013, 199 vs Eng at Bristol in 2018 and 198 vs Aus at SCG in 2016. And with that Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are in the centre. Sheldon Cottrell on with the new ball.
8:40 PM IST: Indian bowlers started badly and ended very badly. If not for that double-wicket in the 18th over, the score would have been a lot bigger. Deepak Chahar, brilliant in the previous matches, leaked the most (56) for his lone wicket. For the visitors, Shimron Hetmyer hit his maiden T20I fifty and except Lendl Simmons, everyone scored good runs. Evin Lewis and skipper Kieron Pollard's knocks were treats. Dropped catches proved detrimental to India's cause.
West Indies Innings
8:33 PM IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar on with the last over of the innings. Jason Holder survives a tough chance, with Virat Kohli putting down one at long-off. Tough, and four. Holder takes a double, then hits a six to bring up 200 for the Windies. A length delivery and over long off. A single then a couple. And Denesh Ramdin takes another double. 17 runs from the over, and 52 from the last five. Bhuvi's figures: 36 without success. WI - 207/5.
8:28 PM IST: Deepak Chahar on with the penultimate over of the innings. Good start, three singles, then Jason Holder hits the fourth ball for a four, over long on. 12 runs from the over. Chahar's figures: 1/56. WI - 190/5 after 19 overs.
8:24 PM IST: End of the spell for Yuvendra Chahal. Two wickets in three balls -- Shimron Hetmyer (56 off 41) and Kieron Pollard (37 off 19). Six runs from the over. His figures: 2/36. WI - 178/5 after 18 overs. Jason Holder and Denesh Ramdin, both right-handed batsmen, are the two new men for Windies.
Record Alert: Chahal is now India's joint-highest wicket-taker in men's T20Is, tied on 52 with R Ashwin.
8:19 PM IST: Deepak Chahar returns and Indian fielders are making a mess. First, Washington Sundar drops Shimron Hetmyer off the first ball, again. Rohit Sharma does well stop the ball from spilling over for a four at long on. Then, Rohit lets the ball slip for a six to give Kieron Pollard a six at long on. Before that, the Indian vice-captain almost pulls off a stunner, but manages to restrict it to a double -- saving five runs in two balls. Pollard then hits the next for a six, deep into mid-wicket stands. 17 runs from the over. WI - 172/3 after 17 overs. And with that six, Windies become the team to hit most sixes in India in a T20I match (12).
8:13 PM IST: Yuzvendra Chahal on with his third over. Two singles, then Shimron Hetmyer hits the third for a six over long off. And fifty maiden fifty for Hetmyer in 35 balls. 11 runs from the over. Hetmyer did get a life off the first ball with Washington Sundar, probably blinded by the light, failed to reach to the ball at short fine leg. WI - 155/3 after 16 overs.
8:06 PM IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar on with his penultimate over. Brilliant one. Just three singles. WI - 144/3 after 15 overs.
8:03 PM IST: Yuzvendra Chahal on with his second over. Three dots to Kieron Pollard and the Windies captain lofts the fourth legal delivery with consummate ease over long-on. Two singles and nine runs from the over. By the way, Chahal had dismissed Pollard four times in T20s. WI - 141/3 after four overs.
7:59 PM IST: Ravindra Jadeja returns. On with his last over. Shimron Hetmyer hits the penultimate ball for a six, a slog sweep with some power, and into the second tier. Then, Virat Kohli misfields at cover and a four. 12 runs from the over. Jadeja's figures: 1/30. WI - 132/3 after 13 overs.
7:55 PM IST: Bowling change. Shivam Dube on. Kieron Pollard hits the second and third balls for a four and six, over deep square leg boundary. 13 runs from the over. WI - 120/3 after 12 overs.
7:51 PM IST: WICKET! Ravindra Jadeja removes Brandon King (31 off 23), stumped by Rishabh Pant. Kieron Pollard, right-handed batsman, joins Shimron Hetmyer. Six runs from the over. WI - 107/3 after 11 overs.
7:46 PM IST: Bowling change. Yuzvendra Chahal on, and is hit for a six, off the second ball by Shimron Hetmyer. 10 runs from the over. WI - 101/2 after 10 overs.
7:42 PM IST: Ravindra Jadeja on with his second over. Shimron Hetmyer hits the first ball for a massive six over long-on. And three more singles. WI - 91/2 after nine overs.
7:39 PM IST: Washington Sundar continues. And 12 runs from his third over. Brandon King hits the second and fourth balls for fours. WI - 82/2 after eight overs.
7:35 PM IST: Bowling change. Ravindra Jadeja on. Good one from the left-arm spinner. Four runs from his first over - one leg bye and three singles. WI - 70/2 after seven overs.
7:31 PM IST: Washington Sundar on with his second over, and gets the big wicket. Evin Lewis (40 off 17), LBW. No review. Lewis hits the second ball for a six, then fails to read Sundar's off-break, off the fourth ball. WI - 66/2 after six overs. Shimron Hetmyer, left-handed batsman, is the new man.
7:26 PM IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar on with his second over. A good start, then a short ball hit for a six by Evin Lewis as the West Indies race to fifty in no time. 11 runs from the over. WI - 57/1 after five overs.
7:21 PM IST: Follow Evin Lewis welcomes hits the first ball for a six. A stunner, over fine leg, then follows it up with a four, through point. Brandon King joins the fun. Hits the fifth ball, a short one, for a six. Enough time King to pull it over mid-wicket boundary. 19 runs from the over. WI - 46/1 after four overs. Chahar has leaked 27 in two overs for a wicket.
7:15 PM IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, coming back from a lengthy injury lay-off, gets his first ball. Six runs from it. WI - 27/1 after three overs.
7:11 PM IST: Brandon King hits the fifth ball of the second over, an uppish drive. WI - 21/1 after two overs. Eight runs and a wicket from the over.
7:07 PM IST: Wow! What a start from Deepak Chahar. He had Lendl Simmons (2 off 4) caught at slip by Rohit Sharma. WI - 13/1 (1.2). Brandon King, right-handed batsman, is the new man in the centre.
7:04 PM IST: Big first over for the Windies. Evin Lewis hits the second and third balls for a four and six. WI - 13/0
7:00 PM IST: Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis to open. Washington Sundar will open the attack for India.
6:58 PM IST: National anthems and other pre-match rituals are done. First ball next.
6:36 PM IST: Playing XIs
India: Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal
West Indies: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard (c), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh, Sheldon Cottrell, Kesrick Williams, Khary Pierre
6:31 PM IST: TOSS. Virat Kohli wins the toss and will bowl first.
6:28 PM IST: Sunil Gavaskar and Murali Kartik with the pitch report for the official broadcasters. They agree on 'very placid' pitch. Gavaskar says, "it's a beauty. There are a few cracks, but not much turn likely. It's a hard surface. They both plump for chasing for the captain winning the toss."
Moments ago former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin gets a stand named after him.
Kohli will provide much-needed stability at the top of the order. Breaching the Indian top four -- Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Kohli and Shreyas Iyer -- would be a tough nut to crack for any bowling attack and considering that the Windies' lack experience on that front, it would be an uphill task for the visitors to crack the Indian juggernaut.
The Indian bowling also looks stronger, now with the return of match-winners Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Deepak Chahar and Shivam Dube have done remarkably well in their limited opportunities so far and have strengthened the Indian pace battery. If Windies batsmen do deal with the pacers well, they will have to contend with the quality spin attack comprising of Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
West Indies, on the other hand, will have to play their best quality of cricket if they are to get off to a winning start against India, an opponent against whom they have lost each of their last six T20Is, including three matches hosted by them only four months ago.
The Kieron Pollard-led side would be low on confidence as they enter the series on the back of a 1-2 loss to Afghanistan in Lucknow. During that series, the Windies batsmen seemed to struggle against seamers and India have a wealth of fast bowling talent, both experienced and otherwise, who will look to probe this apparent weakness.
Thus, the hosts start as overwhelming favourites and it would be a surprise if they don't emerge victorious in the three-match series.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
West Indies: Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Khary Pierre, Denesh Ramdin, Sherfane Rutherford, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh jr., Kesrick Williams.